The debate around health care prices rages on. So far, efforts to reduce the financial burden on the health care system have been directed at decreasing the volume of services used by Americans, but according to this article written by Drew Altman in the Wall Street Journal last week, Americans are already using fewer health care services than people in other comparable countries. Altman insists that this conversation must look at the prices of health care services, rather than directing attention to the volume. Among other things, he calls for greater price transparency. This would enable customers to make cost sensitive choices. We realized that while the cost of various procedures may be a little harder to find, anyone can walk into a pharmacy to find the retail price of a specific medicine.

We have compiled a few of our favourite tools to compare prescription drug prices in the US, Canada and online access. Here are the results:

GoodRx is an American website and app that lets you compare drug prices between pharmacies based on your location. It is great for searching for both generic and brand name prescription drugs but does not provide comparisons for over the counter medicine, such as Advil/Ibuprofen. WeRx is another app with similar functions. Both GoodRx and WeRx offer coupons for extra savings on prescriptions meds.

Pharmacy Checker has the most user-friendly search engine for comparing prices at online pharmacies. They check the safety credentials of online pharmacies and provide a ranking of pharmacies as well. You can have your medicines shipped to Canada and the US, as well as several other countries.

Pharmacy Checker | Access to Medicine

Pharmacy Compass is the only Canadian website that offers price comparisons for pharmacies based on your location. Unfortunately, comparing generic and brand names is not an option. Pharmacy Compass is available on the web, but it does not have an app version optimized for mobile use.

Pharmacy Compass | Access to Medicine

Do you know of any others that should be added to this list? Let us know at