May 1, 2000 (Washington, D.C.) -- Industry and consumer studies show that, compared with filling prescriptions at the corner drug store, ordering drugs online can cut costs considerably. A Consumer Reports study found that savings can reach 25% or more.
The key, experts say, is to shop around and to stay away from the often pricey sites that offer to sell "lifestyle" drugs such as Viagra and Propecia without a visit to your doctor's office. Those sites can charge as much as double the usual cost of such drugs.
Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant -- a cross between water mint and spearmint -- that thrives in Europe and North America.
Peppermint oil is commonly used as flavoring in foods and beverages and as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Peppermint oil also is used for a variety of health conditions and can be taken orally in dietary supplements or topically as a skin cream or ointment.
Some evidence suggests that peppermint oil may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome...
But for most medications, all customers need to beat the price at the local pharmacy is a mouse and a credit card. Here's what WebMD found when we went shopping in mid-April:
Thirty tablets of the top-selling cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor cost about $74 at an offline pharmacy, but the same quantity at an online drugstore can go for anywhere from $49.88 to $51.60.
The popular depression drug Prozac will cost $100 for thirty 10-milligram tablets at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy, but $70.95 to $71.51 online.
Thirty 10-milligram tablets of Prilosec, a drug for ulcers and heartburn, sells for $105.99 online. At the store down the street, those same pills are likely to cost you $134.
Claritin-D 12 Hour, the allergy medication, usually costs about $50 for thirty 10-milligram doses, according to our informal survey. One online pharmacy sells the same prescription for $36.47, but not every site is cheaper -- another web site charges $68.26.
Zocor, another cholesterol-lowering medication, will likely cost about $85 locally for a 10 milligram, 30-pill prescription, but online it would be $55.91.
Don't forget to include shipping expenses in your online prescription comparisons. Although the cost of delivery by standard mail is nominal at many sites, and free at others, it can become quite expensive if you need overnight delivery.
Michael D. Towle is based in Chantilly, Va., and writes regularly on health and legal issues for WebMd.