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Monthly Survey Provides Rx Prices to Public

Few seniors or persons with disabilities have the luxury of living a prescription free lifestyle. Instead, many in these groups often use costly medications. That’s why these vulnerable populations need all the help they can get when seeking the best prescription price.

Until recently, Virgin Islanders had to do their own price comparisons and were completely unaware that retailers were mandated by law to post their current prices. For seniors, this process was time consuming, costly and frustrating.

Now, as a result of a productive collaboration between AARP Virgin Islands and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA), seniors and persons with disabilities can obtain timely and accurate prices on the 10 most used medications throughout the territory. Monthly evaluation of the prices is conducted by DLCA, assisted by AARP volunteers, and findings are published for all residents to see.

We should thank Governor John P. DeJongh for recognizing the immense value of the project and pledging his cabinet’s support. Last year when challenges were experienced in implementing the project, the Governor stepped in, endorsed the project and expedited its full implementation. In doing so, the Governor helped AARP and DLCA make the monthly prescription survey project a reality.

Today the prescription survey has become a regular part of DLCA’s monthly “Food Basket” initiative. The project gives residents access to timely and reliable information. The prescription portion of the project brings an additional benefit for consumers in addition to the general monitoring of grocery prices.

DLCA inspectors routinely visit pharmacies to verify current prices and the required posting of the establishment’s price listing. Thus, consumers are truly protected against fraudulent and deceptive advertising practices. The survey has given “teeth” to the existing law by creating an efficient governmental enforcement mechanism.

The ten most commonly used prescription medications, as indicated by AARP include: Alphagan P, Cosopt, Cozaar, Flomax, Humulin, Hyzaar, Lipitor, Plavix, Vytorin and Xalatan.

If you visit and see that the prices are not posted at your local pharmacy, call DLCA at (340) 774-3130 on St. Thomas/St.John or (340) 773-2226 on St. Croix.

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