Some Galway chemists charge twice as much for the same drug

Some pharmacies in Galway are charging almost twice as much for the same drugs as their competitors, a shocking survey has revealed.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has found that in Galway the average percentage difference in price across the 39 commonly prescribed medicine products was found to be 30%.

The highest percentage difference in Galway was for the cholesterol lowering drug, Lipostat Tabs 20 Mg (28), priced between €19.42 to €38.30, a price difference of 97%.

In Galway the price for Valium Tabs 5Mg (100), were between €4.50 to €8.27, a price difference of 84%.

Tenormin-50 Tabs (28), used in the treatment of high blood pressure and angina, among other conditions, were priced between €6.03 to €9.39 in Galway, a price difference of 56%.

Nationally, the percentage differences in prices of individual prescription medicines ranged from 37% to 199%. The average percentage difference across all products nationally was 56%.

The results were obtained from a nationwide survey by NCA of 45 pharmacies, which found large variations both nationally and in local areas for the prices charged to private customers for 39 common prescription medicines. The products included in the survey were selected from a list of commonly prescribed medicines provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The survey also found differences in relation to pharmacies’ policies on dispensing fees.

The consumer rights group has urged people in Galway to ‘shop around’ to avoid paying way above the odds for medicines.

Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel