Millions of patients in the US struggle to pay for their prescription drugs due to steadily increasing drug prices that can vary depending on the pharmacy, sometimes by more than $100 for the same prescription. Those prices also vary greatly between discount card coupons.
Many consumers turn toward mobile apps that can help them find more affordable alternatives at lower cost, thus saving their budget.
We have already reviewed a couple of those apps that save people millions of dollars every year at their local pharmacies, such as GoodRx app or ScriptSave WellRx app.
These apps allow consumers and patients to compare prices at their local pharmacies and save on prescription medicines by using discount coupons.
The app we review today called LowestMed app does the exact same thing as above apps, except for it promises to offer better prices and discounts for prescription drugs than its competition. So, we wanted to check if that's true.
LowestMed app basically lets users search for medication prescribed and then provide them with the result displaying the pharmacies with the best deal on that prescription.
The app is free to download and use on Android and iOS devices. The good thing is that it doesn't require users to register an account or provide any private information.
It opens to the New Search screen, which is a simple page that features only a search field you can use to find a drug. Just start typing and the autocomplete option would populate the list you can choose your prescription medication from. This is a convenient solution that helps you find your prescription drugs quickly and easily.
The app would provide results based on your location. It would use your phone's GPS or you can set your ZIP code manually. This can be changed anytime in the Settings section of the app, which is handy if you want to check prices in neighboring cities or if your travel a lot across the US.
You can search drugs either by their generic or brand name and the app would provide you with identical results. For example, you would get the same result if you've searched for Lipitor or atorvastatin calcium.
The results are displayed in a list from cheapest to the most expensive. There are two tabs, showing results for generic and brand name, which is more expensive.
For example, my search for the best prices on Lipitor displayed the price of $9.10 at VONS pharmacy (1.3 miles away from my location).
There is an orange button at the top of the list that you can tap on and change drug details, such as form, strength, package, quantity, and distance (search radius in miles). To change these details, consult your instructions on the prescription, or your pharmacist.
LowestMed app also offers discount coupons you can use at your local pharmacies. Tap on 'Get Coupon' button next to the drug name in the list and the app would display your savings card you can present at the pharmacy to get a discount. You don't have to print the card, just show the phone screen to the pharmacist.
Here you can also view a map with the locations of all pharmacies listed for a particular drug search. On this screen, you can add the drugs you use the most by tapping on 'Add to My Meds' button and access them later listed in the separate section.
Settings section enables you to set the location or change the way you use it. Here you can also view instructions on how to use the app, as well as details on Rx Advocacy Program that - for a fee of $50 - assists consumers with prescription drug costs, especially the patients on high cost, maintenance drugs.
In the next step of this review, I wanted to check if LowestMed app is indeed cheaper than its competition.
I chose a random zip code and searched the databases on every mobile app that was mentioned in our article about best mobile apps to help you save on prescription drugs.
I focused on the top 20 most commonly purchased drugs in the United States, including Adderall, Ambien, Crestor, Xanax, and Lopressor, among others.
Based on this sample, LowestMed app indeed offered lowest prices in comparison to its competitors, 60% of the time, followed by GoodRx at 45% and Blink at 15%.
Thus, I would recommend this app as an efficient service that could help consumers and patients save on their prescription drugs.
However, there is one downside. LowestMed app covers prescription drugs, but it does not the over-the-counter medicines. At least not by their brand names.
For example, there's no Tylenol, Motrin, Phenol or Dyclonine. You will get Advil and Zyrtec only if you type in their generic names in the search (ibuprofen and cetirizine), but not their brand name (although their brand names are listed in the results).
Hopefully, LowestMed app would fix this and add OTC medicines as well, which would make it probably the best drug saving app for consumers who want to save on medications, as well as for medical professionals who would use this app with their patients.
Benefit: Consumers and patients who want to save on prescription drugs, as well as healthcare professionals could benefit from this app