Sorrell wants cheapest prescription drugs bought

John O'Brien Jul. 10, 2007, 1:00pm

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell is again concerned with prescription drug prices and recently unveiled an interactive website that points consumers to the cheapest prices.

Sorrell's site was introduced Tuesday at a news conference and uses retail price data that pharmacies submit to the state when they certify their prices for Medicaid reimbursement.

"Give consumers good information and they can make smart buying decisions," Sorrell said. "As the already high cost of drugs goes even higher, this comparison shopping tool should be a great help to price-conscious Vermonters."

This year, Sorrell has released his report on drug marketing disclosures, ordered Rite Aid to sell some of its stores in the name of competition and settled with Bayer over allegations of side effects from one of its drugs.

Sorrell's latest project allows consumers to search for drug prices by county or town. He says there are approximately 90 prescription drugs listed on the site.

Sorrell also said the site shows the wide variations in prices for the same drugs. Seventeen doses of the asthma drug Albuteral ranges from $12.41 to $41.72 in Washington County.

The site does not have up-to-the-minute prices, though. Most prices are from one or two months earlier.

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