Kroger launches discount program for out-of-pocket prescription drugs

Grocery chain Kroger has launched discount program for patients picking up prescription drugs at its pharmacies, according to a STAT news report.

Under the new program, Kroger pharmacy customers pay an annual fee of $36 per person, or $72 per family, to get discounted prices on their medications. The program includes 21 drugs that would be free after joining  the program.

The idea is that patients could bypass insurance and pay for drugs out-of-pocket because often a patient's co-pay is higher than the cost of the drug.

The program, Kroger Rx Savings Club, will be offered at more than 2,000 pharmacies across the U.S. It doesn't cover high-priced specialty drugs like gene therapies, but offers 21 drugs at no cost; 129 drugs at $3 for a one-months supply or $6 for a three-months supply; and 109 drugs at $6 for a month's supply or $12 for a three-months supply.

Kroger said the program can save patients hundreds of dollars per year, depending on their benefits.

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