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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Generic Arimidex costs

Topic: Generic Arimidex costs

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After — Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications.

Posted on: Jul 3, 2010 08:27AM

Medigal wrote:

I was thrilled to read that Arimidex has gone generic this week since I have taken it for over 5 years. I am now on my second 5 year term so the cost is important to me.  However, I have a weird concern now.  I called a lot of my local drug stores to see if they got the Anastrozole 1 mg in yet and some had but others are still waiting.  What I am concerned about is that I was quoted over $300 for 30 if the stores are using certain brands and one brand was just $19.95 for 30.  I should have been thrilled but since this is an anti-cancer drug, I have to make sure the one I purchase is of the same high quality as the Astra Zeneca which I have been taking.

Does anyone on here know if a company can take "short cuts" with a drug once our FDA qualifies it for making the generic?  I can't afford to risk my life on a cheaper drug which may not give me the same help as the others.  I would just like some opinions of those who are taking Arimidex as to whether or not you would risk the $19.95 manufacturer's drug.  It is an international company known for generics and I have used their drugs before with my mail-order pharmacy but the difference in price is concerning.  Thanks for any advice or info you can provide.

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Jul 12, 2010 10:08AM thegoodfight wrote:

And remember even the same mail order pharmacy will have different prices dependent upon your individual insurance plan, and the individual plans even differ within the same insurer.  My Medco for the generic is quite a bit less.  They have quoted me $10 for 90 day generic and I was only paying $20 for 90 day Arimidex.  We all need to check our individual situations.  It is good that we are sharing on this site but we cannot assume anything.  I would like to think the cash prices at Costco, CVS, Walgreens, etc. would be standard nationwide, but I really don't know.

Dx 7/14/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 12, 2010 10:39AM luluann wrote:

I agree with SheriG.  I live in Ohio and just called my local Walgreen's.  They want $370.00 for 30 days and $1,100.00 for 90 days.  The pharmacist said he was embarrassed to tell me the price for the generic, as it is not much different than the brand name.

He said he thought the prices were all standard for all of the Walgreen's, so I don't understand how some of you are getting it so cheap.

Well, I will continue to search, and hope I can find a decent price.

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Jul 12, 2010 12:10PM deerone wrote:

I have been talking to my nearest Costco. The price they quoted to me this morning was $18 for a 30 day supply (pills from Teva) and the pharmacist estimated that it would be about $45 for a 90 day supply. He is ordering the pills and I will be going there tomorrow with my script. Their cash price is cheaper than even my new, lower insurance co-pay.

Prices from Costco also seem to be varying but they have all been comparatively cheap. So I'd suggest finding your nearest Costco and checking with them, luluann.

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Jul 12, 2010 12:24PM ferretmom wrote:

Update on WalMart. This is in Nevada by the way.

My cost was $18 for 90 day thru my medicare supp.

Reg price was $953.72

From Zydus.

Dx 1/2010, ILC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 12, 2010 04:31PM Susie123 wrote:

Francine, You would be very surprised how may people don't link the two. If the money comes out of their pocket, they think it counts. Most people don't understand what a cash script is. They think it means you paid cash for it, or wrote a check. They don't know that means the way it was filled, without insurance.

Also, I've noticed some are worried it isn't as good as the brand name. Generic manufacturers are monitored, they can only be a tiny bit off the exact thing the name brand is. Currently the only drugs that are that sensitive are thyroid meds and seizure meds. Those 2 have a high percentage of name brand only required. I'm sure I'll be switching to the generic with my next refill, and my co pay is coming out as zero right now. Not due to my insurance at the drug store, but due to my husbands insurance! 

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 12, 2010 04:55PM Susie123 wrote:

The good fight,

I know my chain is all linked. We all use the same server at corporate, if it goes down, we are all down. Have you ever noticed when traveling, you can go into a location of the drug chain you use in another state and still get a script. They have you in the computer already and have access to all your script info?? That's how. We're linked, at my chain anyway. I would assume all the major ones would be linked. We're all micro managed from afar.Wink

It looks like Costco is the winner for folks without cheap insurance co pays. If it is the actual Teva brand of the generic that's really cheap, you could seek out a privately owned pharmacy, who is in control of their own generic brand choices, and have them check on the price tor the Teva generic. Tell them you've heard that one particular generic manufacturer is much cheaper than the others and ask them to get a price for you. I know for some Costco is a long way from home, my closest one is a two hour drive. Maybe your local independent pharmacy can get Teva.

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 12, 2010 05:48PM crusader1 wrote:

Hi Ladies,

Great discussion. It is so important for us older women to be conscious of not going into the donut hole.Generic drugs bought by cash is  the way out.My friend went into the donut hole in March due to Arimidex.  I encourage all of my friends to fill generic at local discount stores with 5 to 10 dollar plans. I take three pills daily  and get all thru Kmart at the same price as my drug plan. Luckily I have a few years before medicare. I now pay only 50 dollars thru my plan for 90 days of real Arimidex. I am lucky at this time to have this plan but in two years al will change.

Hugs,

Francine

At the end of this tunnel will be sunshine! It is a sunny day! Dx 9/12/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 13, 2010 06:35PM , edited Jul 13, 2010 06:39PM by MTG

Ok, for those of you who dont follow the Arimidex thread, I thought I'd post here too.

Our discussion on "Cost" is based on all the generics being equal. Personally, I have concerns that drugs manufactured outside of the US, Canada or Western Europe may not have the same controls or quality so I avoid them. For those who have similar concerns, you may be surpirsed/ shocked/ interested to learn that almost all the new generic Anastrozoles are manufactured in INDIA. By the way, it was Otter who first noticed this so thanks again Otter

Here's the list:

The following generic Anastrozoles are made in INDIA (almost all of them)

1.   Accord Healthcare Inc. imprint AHI

2.   APP Pharmaceuticals, LLCDB02

3.   Ascend Laboratories, Llc AN;1

4.   Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. AN;1 - Made in India

5.   Cadila Healthcare Limited - A7

6.   Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. - A7

7.   Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited RDY;1

8.   Karalex Pharma, LLC 3RP;1

9.   Pack Pharmaceuticals, LLCAN;1

10.  Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals, LLC 3RP;1

The following do not state where they are manufactured, so I'm gonna assume...

Cypress Pharmaceutical, Inc. 0376

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. M;34

Roxane Laboratories, Inc. 54;077

Sandoz Inc SZ;171 -

There are only 2 generics that are clearly NOT made in India:

Kremers Urban, LLC 71;KU -made in Ireland                                                     

TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA Inc TEVA;A10 - made in Isreal.

I got the information from the NIH webbsite,dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/...  I just had to read the labels pretty closely. I'll start a thread which has photos of the labels so everyone can see for themselves

M Dx 6/30/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 14, 2010 09:23AM Susie123 wrote:

Francine,

That's an awesome idea, as long as all the meds you take are older generics with cheap costs. Unfortunately, alot of people, like your friend, are in the same shape she was. Scripts for very expensive meds that have no generic available at that time. They need to do the math to see which way is cheaper. It might be cheaper to plow through that donut hole and come out the 100% covered side. I know we did the math for my mother in law and it was actually much cheaper to do that. It all depends on your mix of meds, their cost, brand only availability or generic availability. My MIL had one drug alone that was $1200 a month. Not to count all the others. For her the donut hole was the cheapest route. Everybody needs to do the math for their own mix of meds. With so many different insurances, and each insurance having different levels of co pays, there's no one size fits all. Just like when you choose your part d coverage in a few years, add the monthly premium and the co pay costs for each drug you take within that policy to come up with the cheapest overall part d plan. Don't just go on what policy has the cheapest premium, or just that it covers your meds. One plan may cover a drug with a $5 co pay and another may cover it with a $25 co pay, technically they both cover the drug, but $5 is cheaper than $25 each month. You might find that one with a slightly higher monthly premium ends up being much cheaper overall. 

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 14, 2010 10:52PM thegoodfight wrote:

I spoke to my oncologist tonight about another issue and while I had him on the phone I asked what he thought about the new generics.  He said he had no problem with any of them and then he took the opportunity to tell me I have to lost weight.  This is not a new problem for me, I need to shed about 30 pounds, but he is getting tough about it  now because a new study has come out saying that the AI's are not as effective in overweight women.  

Dx 7/14/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2010 09:40AM char4722 wrote:

WOW!!

I just found this chat room and it has answered so many questions already. I have been on Arimidex for 3 years. Yesterday my new doctor (old one retired) at the cancer center suggested that I switch to Tamoxifen due to the cost of Arimidex. He said that they are equally effective. I have been looking at all the studies and haven't found any supporting evidence, so I was hesitant to switch. Then I found this chat room and discovered that Arimidex has gone generic - Hoorah !! I am on Medicare and in the "donut hole". I have about 60 days left on my last script. Maybe in September the price will be lower.

 Thanks for all the great info and research. Keep it up.

Dx 5/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/2 nodes, ER+
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Jul 15, 2010 10:01AM , edited Jul 15, 2010 10:19AM by otter

thegoodfight, I also read about that study your onco mentioned-- "...a new study has come out saying that the AI's are not as effective in overweight women."  It would take me an hour to dig around and find where I stashed that pdf file, but if I can find it, I'll post more it... I do think the issue should be discussed on the general "Arimidex" thread, though, if you're up to raising it.  I know how much we hate it when someone points out, yet again, that we need to lose weight!

BTW... I did post the original information about "Breckenridge Pharmaceutical" marketing a generic "Arimidex" that was being manufactured by another company (which happened to be in India).  The other company was the one that received FDA approval for the product.  I posted that information on the general "Arimidex" thread.

I want to emphasize that I was posting the information as guidance for someone who said her onco only wanted her to purchase generic Arimidex that was made here in the U.S.  The onco did not even want her to buy a generic that was made in Canada.  So I thought it was important for us to realize that generic drugs might not be manufactured by the same companies that are marketing them; generic drugs sold here in the U.S. might be manufactured in other countries; and sometimes it takes some investigative work to figure out exactly what is going on.  (Thanks for that, MTG!)

Please don't misinterpret my post on that other thread, though.  It was not my intention to impugn the quality or reliability of drugs made in countries other than the U.S.  There might well be reasons to wonder about quality control in factories operating in those other countries; but there have also been problems with drug companies operating here in the U.S.  (They aren't immune to errors or profit-driven negligence or plain old stupidity, just because they're here.)

Anyway, I don't think we need to be agonizing over yet another aspect of our BC treatment.  I take two other generic drugs, and although I've noticed when the supplier changes (different color, different size, comment from my pharmacist), I haven't bothered to figure out the country-of-origin.  Lots of women take tamoxifen, and its all generic.  Nobody here in the U.S. is marketing the brand-name version (Nolvadex) anymore.  So, next time I get my Arimidex prescription filled, I think I'll just take a deep breath and accept what my pharmacist hands me.

otter

[Edited to add:  I apologize if my comments sound "preachy". I was wanting to be fair; plus, I'm just concerned about our mental well-being.  We have so darn much to worry about anyway.  It shouldn't be our duty to watch over the shoulders of the FDA staff members as they inspect factories overseas or evaluate drug companies' manufacturing protocols.  And, we shouldn't have to advise our pharmacists about which suppliers are reliable, and which ones are suspect. I'm trying to approach this the way I approached all those other decision-points:  listen to the advice my healthcare team is giving me; gather other facts that I can find and understand; make a decision; and then go forward, trusting my judgment and that of the people I've hired to help me get through this.]

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2010 10:39AM thegoodfight wrote:

I agree Otter and I have decided to "let it go" and take the generic without any second thoughts.  Now the weight, that's a battle.   I did just get back from the gym.   Did 7 miles on the bike in a half hour so I was going at a pretty good pace.  I used to have an exercise program that I did something everyday, mixing up tennis, pilates, strength training, etc,.   Then I got tendonitis in my knee and then just to make it a little tougher I broke my pinky toe on the other foot.  I am just getting going again with a hole cut out for my toe in my sneakers.  We will see how it goes.  I guess I should post this on the Arimidex thread also.  Thanks for all your research and sharing.

Caren

Dx 7/14/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2010 11:25AM MTG wrote:

FYI, The new study, " Effect of Body Mass Index on Recurrences in Tamoxifen and Anastrozole Treated Women: An Exploratory Analysis From the ATAC Trial" http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/abstract/JCO.2009.27.2021v1  

An article summarizing it: http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/news.showNewsArticle/id/5/news_id/2837

I'll post it on the Arimidex thread as well.

M Dx 6/30/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2010 05:20PM rdeb wrote:

Hi,

 I just wanted to report in that the Costco in Eugene, Oregon is selling the generic for $12 a month or $29.95 for 90 day (cash price)!!  The Walgreen's and Rite Aid practically across the street are selling it for over $300 and over $200!  I have an apt. with my onc. on Monday and will take him my list of pharmacies and prices so he can pass on the info to other folks.

 Debbie

Dx 3/14/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2010 05:53PM Medigal wrote:


Bravo to you, Debbie!!  That's the way to go!!  If more patients buy the inexpensive generics, we can CREAM Walgreens and Rite Aid for keeping their generics so high!!  You're fighting the problem the right way and helping a lot of other people in the meantime.  I was so thrilled to read your post.  I intend on doing the same thing when I have my next Onc visit and I do hope many of the others on here will pick up the ball and run with it too!  I got a new 90 day RX for my Arimidex and I intend on getting it filled at Costco next time.  I am in the donut (mudhole) and I had to pay $46 for 90 at the only local pharmacy which had the generic when I needed them.  My Costco had not gotten theirs in and said they were using Sandoz.  I have the TEVA but I would buy Sandoz if I could get it for $29.95!  Thanks for sharing and being willing to help so many others.
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Jul 15, 2010 06:05PM choca1711 wrote:

I just filled my new script at Costco. got the generic - it cost me $55.36 for a 6-month supply. Since I pay for the meds out of pocket, this is quite a saving over the $420 I was paying for it per month up to now!  I was like a child with a new toy LOL. Couldn't stop grinning at finally being able to get my meds at a price I can actually afford .

hugs and chocolate xx Dx 4/24/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2010 06:42PM deerone wrote:

Interesting ... My "local" Costco finally got the Teva generic in. I got my script for a 90 day supply filled yesterday for $58.xx. Looks like choca and deb got theirs for about half that!!!!! It will be interesting to see what the price is when I go for a refill in 3 months. Of course, compared to the almost $200 I had to pay as my co-pay for my first 30 day supply, I'm still quite happy with the price I got.

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Jul 16, 2010 08:22AM chulad4 wrote:

I have been on Arimidex for 4 years 3 months.  I have hit the donuthole and the prices are prohib itive for Arimidex as well as the generics which are the same price if not more.  I have checked all over Phoenix, AZ where we live and have had no luck.  Please if anyone knows where I can get the generics at a reasonable price in this area will they let me know.  Love to all and good luck.

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Jul 16, 2010 11:57AM DATO wrote:

I am with Kaiser Permanente in northern California.  I just got my first refill with the generic.  I pay $10 for a 90 day supply of generic drugs.  My receipt listed their price as $48.05 for a 90 day supply.  The manufacturer is listed as Brekenridge. 

Dx 5/12/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2010 01:03PM rdeb wrote:

Chulad4,

You have a Costco at 19001 N. 27th, Phoenix, AR, 623-329-4403.  They have a great cash price for the generic, around $30 for a 3 month supply.Smile

 Debbie

Dx 3/14/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2010 01:15PM PB22 wrote:

When I went to pick up my monthly prescription at Winn Dixie, I was pleasantly surprised that the phamacist told me it was now available generic and I was charged 317.00 having already met my deductible.  After reading this thread, called my local Costco who said they don't have it and can't get it. I called another Costco about 30 minutes away and they have it available from Sandoz , cost to me 26.00.  How can one place charge a 300.00 difference.  I guess its the buying power of Costco and hopefully not quality of the manufacturer.

Skin sparing, nipple sparing bmx Dec, Onco score 15. "Your only as young as your implants". Dx 10/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2010 04:57PM cw89134 wrote:

My price checking thus far has shown that the big chain pharmacies are keeping the generic price very high. Examples (for a 90 day supply):

Target -- $1200+

Walmart Grocery -- $900 +

The local Costco has not yet received Anastrozole.

I have found only one local pharmacy (and they aren't all that local) whose price is $159.50 for 90 pills. That's the cheapest I've found.

The discrepancy is unconscionable, IMO.

Carol -- 1.7 cm -- Oncotype DX: 24 -- Blog: www.caringbridge.org/visit/cw8... -- 5 day targeted radiation, Arimidex/Anastrozole since 2/09 Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2010 05:15PM Susie123 wrote:

I don't know how Costco is selling it that cheaply. I checked AWP (average wholesale price, what your pharmacy's pay their supplier for it) and the Costco price is a fraction of the cost. Maybe they do make it up in other areas of their business. They're selling it at a HUGE loss. For folks who don't have insurance, find a Costco!

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2010 05:42PM lauri wrote:

I got a letter from my insurance company today letting me know that Arimidex is now generic -- went onto their website and found that a 90-day supply now costs $18 copay, down from $85 in June.  Now looking at Medicare Part D alternatives -- but the Medicare plan comparison website doesn't recognize the generic yet.

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2010 06:38PM fbk wrote:

cvs has generic arimidex....am on my 8th year taking it....want to know if anyone else has been on it this long and are they still ok....

Dx 8/1/2002, DCIS, 4cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+
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Jul 16, 2010 06:44PM Medigal wrote:

fbk, I started my second 5 years in January and would love to know if the side effects got worse for you since you are in your 8th year.  I take it for granted that you are still cancer free but does the bone pain or other SEs increase the longer we take it?  Thanks for any info you can provide.

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Jul 16, 2010 11:33PM Seaglass2 wrote:

Thank everyone for posting! I live in Hawaii. I called two pharmacies to find out the price of the generic today, both Walmart and Longs had it at $300. Costco had a better price but no drug available. In fact they were going to order it from their wholesaler but the wholesaler only had 90 pills. THEN I called Kaiser. They have the TEVA there and tweny dollars a month and I have NO DRUG COVERAGE so this is really good news! Kaiser gets it from their supplier, Kaiser. I have Kaiser health care (again no drug coverage) but I'm thinking ANYONE can get a prescription filled at a Kaiser pharmacy so this could be good news for all!    This is the Anastrozole I'm talking about.

Thanks,

Sharon 

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Jul 17, 2010 07:08AM coonie wrote:

I just called in my second refill request to Canada (90 day supply). It's quick, easy and very professional. He said I should have my Arimidex in a week to 10 days. I remember it came really quick last time. It's the real thing too. 84 pills for $430 vs 30 pills for $400 in U.S. So, for now I think I'm sticking with Canada.

Chemo: (4 AC) (4 Taxol); 1 Year Herceptin; Bilat. Mast.; Ooph; Last Arimidex Pill 5/31/13 Dx 11/14/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 17, 2010 10:58AM chulad4 wrote:

Attn: rdeb

I am so absolutely grateful for your information.  I called the Costo Pharmacy at 19001 N 27th in Phoenix, AZ  Phone # 6232934403.  The Pharmacist said she could order generac anastrozole for $11.93 a month.  I can call my oncologist on Monday and have him fax in a prescription for me.  I can not believe that this is true as even other costco's had prices around $300 a month in Phoenix.

I have been taking my arimidex every other day to not run out waiting for a decent price for the generic.

Bless you and everyone on this site for the great information.  I am so happy I found you. 

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