Do flu fighting drugs cost too much?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - With the flu season nearing its peak in Western New York, Barbara Madison, the owner of Parker Pharmacy on Hertel Avenue, in Buffalo, says this winter has been worse than normal.

"We are seeing more people come in and get Tamiflu, we have both Tamiflu and we have the generic."

But she's seeing some Western New Yorkers pass on the expensive drugs.

"We did have someone... it came up to be over $100 dollars for the generic, and they decided not to get it."

For a local pharmacy owner, like Madison, it's something that's hard to see happen.

"It's difficult, especially for us because we know our customers.  You'd like to give it to them, but you can't and they just can't afford it.  We did have someone that was so ill, they just put it on their credit card."

Without insurance, Tamiflu, a well known treatment for the flu can cost upwards of 125 dollars.

Madison says locally owned pharmacies can often provide the medicine at a lower cost, and there are other ways you can save.

"There's coupons online and you can also search websites for the best price."

If you're paying out of pocket, websites like 'goodrx.com' show where you can possibly find discounts and coupons on the generic flu drug Oseltamivir, which Madison says is just as effective as Tamiflu.

But even with these drugs available Madison tells us the most effective defense is still the flu shot.

 

 

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