Flu sufferers worried about steep price of Tamiflu

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - With more and more cases of flu around the valley, many are worried about the steep cost of Tamiflu, one of the best weapons doctors have to prescribe patients.

So far this flu season, 22 people have died from flu-related cases in Clark County, and many others have been hospitalized.

One of the most common prescription drugs used to combat the flu is Tamiflu. It works to combat the spread on the virus, and in some cases could save your life if the case is more severe.

"What ends up happening is it can shave off a day or two from your flu illness," explains Dr. Daliah Wachs.

The problem is the high demand is making the price go up. In the Las Vegas area, even with insurance, the drug can still cost around $100, on top the the cost of a doctors visit for a prescription.

The good news is there are some workarounds:

  • Dr. Wachs also recommends Relenza, a drug that's inhaled but works the same as Tamiflu, and usually costs less.
  • You can also ask your doctor to write an open-ended prescription, saying "Tamiflu OR Relenza," so you can comparison shop and choose the cheaper one when you go to the pharmacy.

There are also some coupon tricks online:

  • GoodRX: Just type in your zip code, and you can click on the link for a coupon to print for Tamiflu covering some of the major pharmacies like CVS, Target, and Walgreens (at last check, that can get the price down to about $50-60 instead of $100+)
  • WellRX: This one allows you to search by zip code and will show you what the average price is for specific stores in your neighborhood.

Both GoodRX and WellRX also have mobile apps you can find in the App Store.

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