“We don’t believe an insurance company should have anything to do with an uninsured patient and what they pay for a prescription.”
– Chris Johnson, Pharmacist/Founder of MedSavers.
Chris Johnson grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area before moving to Austin to attend The University of Texas. There he received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1995, and became a registered Pharmacist in the State of Texas soon after.
It didn’t take long for Chris to realize that practicing pharmacy was not what he thought it would be. Ten years of working in independent and grocery store pharmacies was more than enough for Chris to grow frustrated with insurance companies running the show, mostly at the uninsured patient’s expense. Day after day, uninsured patients walked away from the counter empty-handed because they simply could not afford the exorbitantly high-priced medication. It was frustrating to say the least, especially knowing how much the medication actually cost the pharmacy. Chris knew there had to be a better way.
On April 11, 2005, Chris opened MedSavers with the help of his wife, Bryna. A social worker, Bryna was the perfect partner to launch the return of the personable pharmacy experience. Their mission is to help those with little to no insurance get the medication they need at prices that are easy to swallow.
What is MedSavers?
MedSavers is a family-owned and operated pharmacy committed to making medication affordable again, especially for people who have little to no health insurance. Since we don’t even accept insurance, we don’t have to waste all our time and energy dealing with insurance companies. Which means we can focus on the patient — we even answer the phone!
How are you able to provide substantially lower costs for the same product?
Since we don’t deal with insurance companies, we are not under any obligation to stock a certain amount of name-brand medications, which are really expensive and increase overhead. And unlike all the pharmacies who do work with them, insurance companies don’t have a say in how much we charge for these medications. So we can provide the same medications at a fair price and still make a reasonable profit.
Where does your prescription medication come from?
We get our generic and brand-name medications from the #1 wholesaler in the U.S. — the same one that supplies Wal-Mart, CVS, Target, and HEB. (We even share the same delivery driver!) They have the same FDA approval and come from the same manufacturers as the drugs sold at traditional pharmacies.
Do I have to be a member of MedSavers?
No, you don’t have to sign up for anything or pay any “membership” fee. There is no catch here.
Do you share my information with anyone?
We don’t sell or “rent” any information or share anything with 3rd party establishments. Your information stays with us.
What if I have insurance?
We don’t discriminate against the insured. No matter what kind of insurance you have, you’re welcome to get your medication from us. In many cases, it will be cheaper than your regular co-pay, and since we don’t have insurance companies slowing us down with all that red tape, you’ll get your medications faster and puts the emphasis back on making sure all your questions are answered — so you fully understand all your doctor’s instructions.
Do you carry brand-name medications?
To keep inventory costs down, we typically don’t keep many brand-name medications on the shelves. As long as you have a prescription, we can order any brand-name or generic product you need. We can also order over-the-counter items.
Why aren’t the name-brand medications more affordable too?
Name-brand prescription drugs are expensive at wholesale prices, so there isn’t a lot of wiggle room to reduce costs like with the generic prescriptions. If you’re not able to cover the cost of your prescription, we’d be happy to talk to your doctor to help find the best possible generic alternative. Finding an affordable option is important.
Why aren’t you open as early or late as my current pharmacy?
Our regular hours help us do two things: 1) It allows us to have more time together as a family. It’s really important to us to be able to spend breakfast and dinner with our kids. 2) In order to keep prescription costs down for you, we have to cut costs as well. Regular hours keep staffing costs down. For those who cannot make it during the week, we are open a few hours on Saturday and offer mail order as well.
How can I help MedSavers recycle?
A lot of packaging is used to distribute small pills and other forms of medications. You can help us recycle by bringing all your empty prescription bottles to us, even if they are from other pharmacies. We recycle all lids, stock and Rx bottles, packaging, and paper that we use throughout the day. We also shred and recycle anything with personal information. FDA Comsumer Updates – How to Dispose of Unused Medicines
Do you compound?
We don't compound currently but have plans to do so in the future. Please check back soon.
I don’t live near Austin. Do you do mail prescriptions?
Yes, we can mail any non-controlled prescription for only $5.00. Simply have your doctor call in your prescription or fax it to 512.465.9287. You can also mail in the original to our store. Payments can be made over the phone with your MasterCard or Visa.
What forms of payments do you accept?
We take Visa, MasterCard and cash. Sorry, we do not accept American Express, Discover or personal checks.
|Aciphex (Rabeprazole) 20mg||30||$31.45|
|Arimidex (Anastrozole) 1mg||90||$69.76|
|Atacand, Zomig, Maxalt, Geodon, Xyzal||Call For Prices!|
|Avapro (Irbesartan) 300mg||30||$31.48|
|Diovan, Nexium, Micardis, Evista, Lotemax||New Generics Coming Soon (2014)!|
|Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) 150mg||30||$44.80|
|Famvir (Famciclovir) 500mg||30||$16.30|
|Femara (Letrozole) 2.5mg||30||$29.86|
|Flomax (Tamsulosin) 0.4mg||90||$78.27|
|Hyzaar (Losartan/HCTZ) 100mg/25mg||90||$61.50|
|Levaquin (Levofloxacin) 500mg||10||$34.16|
|Lexapro (Escitalopram) 20mg||90||$87.65|
|Lipitor (Atorvastatin) 40mg||30||$24.84|
|Plavix (Clopidogrel) 75mg||30||$24.59|
|Risperdal (Risperdone) 3mg||60||$32.46|
|Seroquel (Quetiapine) 100mg||30||$24.40|
|Singulair (Montelukast) 10mg||90||$61.36|
|Valtrex (Valacyclovir) 500mg||30||$39.48|
|Xalatan (Latanoprost) 0.005% Drops||2.5||$32.40|
|Zyprexa (Olanzapine) 10mg||30||$31.30|
Now Compounding the Following Items!
|Acyclovir 5%/Lidocaine 1% Lip Balm – For relief from cold sores/fever blisters||5 gm tube||$19.80|
|Tetracaine 0.5% Lollipops – For relief of sore throat (1 pop = multiple uses!)||2 lollipops||$9.50|
Other Great Prices
|Altace (Ramipril) 10mg||90||$32.80|
|Ambien (Zolpidem) 10mg||30||$18.40|
|Bactroban (Mupirocin) Ointment||22||$22.47|
|Cozaar 100mg (Losartan 100mg)||90||$54.79|
|Flonase (Fluticasone) Nasal Spray||1||$19.84|
|Imitrex (Sumatriptan) 100mg||9||$29.47|
|Lamictal (Lamotrigine) 200mg||60||$39.87|
|Protonix (Pantoprazole) 40mg||90||$52.67|
|Requip (Ropinirole) 1mg||90||$54.88|
|Topamax (Topiramate) 200mg||60||$42.77|
|Wellbutrin XL (Budeprion XL) 300mg||30||$44.88|
|Z-Pak (Azithromycin) 250mg||1||$18.37|
|Zocor (Simvastatin) 40mg||90||$25.94|
As part of their outreach effort, some non-profits, churches, charities and government agencies have funds set aside to help people in their community get the medications they otherwise couldn’t afford. A couple of these local organizations approached us about partnering with them to help their dollar go a little further. We loved this idea! Currently, we work with over a dozen of these organizations, and hope to continue to grow this effort.
As a pharmacy that specializes in affordable prescription medications, we’re in a great position to help your organization stretch your budget. We’ll work with you to set up a billing schedule, then send you an itemized statement at the end of each billing cycle.
If you’re interested in setting up an account with us, or simply want to learn more, please get in touch!
McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas produced video below about our work. You can also watch the video on their site, Texas Enterprises.
KXAN: Rx card coming to Travis County (03/09)
KXAN: New federally mandated inhalers pricier (11/08)
KEYE: Bet on Bettie: Best pharmacy prices (5/08)
Austin Chronicle: 'There Has to Be a Better Way' (3/08)
Jim Hightower has a story about our little pharmacy in his new book (3/08)
KXAN: Albuterol Inhalers Pulled From Shelves (11/07)
Austin Daze (issue 56, 8/29/06)