Prescription Drug Prices in New York State

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the most frequently prescribed drugs?

The New York State Board of Pharmacy annually publishes a list of the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs, in the most common quantities. List of 150 most frequently prescribed drugs

2. I take a different strength of medication than the one listed on the website. Are the prescription drug prices for different strengths and quantities the same?

No. Drugs can be prescribed in different strengths and quantities and prices will vary depending on the strength and quantity. This website only lists the prices for the strength and quantity of the drugs published by the New York State Board of Pharmacy. If the strength or quantity of your medication is not listed, please contact your pharmacy for the price.

3. When I went to one of the pharmacies that are listed on the website, the price that they charged for my drug was not the same as the price listed on the website. Why?

Drug prices can change frequently. Always call or visit your pharmacy to find out the price. The prices on this website reflect weekly price updates and may not be the price that you find when you go to your pharmacy. The prices on this website should provide you with a good start to compare prices for certain drugs at pharmacies in your area.

4. I am unable to afford my drugs because the prices are too high. Is there anything I can do about that?

Yes, you may explore public and private prescription drug assistance programs. If you are age 50 to 65, or disabled, and do not have prescription drug coverage, you may qualify for the New York Prescription Saver Card. Call 1-800-788-6917 to learn more. The website provides several helpful links on the consumer information page

5. When I search by city, county, or ZIP code I receive a message "No Information Found Matching Your Search Criteria..." Does that mean that my pharmacy does not sell my drug?

No. This website lists the retail prices of the 150 most commonly prescribed drugs for pharmacies participating in the Medicaid program and for pharmacies submitting their retail price information. Should you encounter this message, it simply means that the website currently does not have the drug price information for the search area you defined in your query. You can attempt to search again using a wider coverage area or you can contact your local pharmacies directly to obtain price information.

6. Why do I keep seeing N/A in the search results with a short explanation of N/A - Price information not available to the Dept. of Health?

The Department of Health obtains the usual and customary price information from claims submitted by pharmacies to the Medicaid program for reimbursement and the price information submitted directly by pharmacies. Not all New York State pharmacies participate in the medicaid program or voluntarily report drug price information. Also, the claims may not include all the drugs in the 150 frequently prescribed list. When the Department of Health does not have price information an "N/A" will be displayed for the price.

7. Why do I see gray shaded areas in the search results?

The shaded areas on the search results page indicate that there is no generic equivalent at this time.

8. Why am I unable to find any prices for some of the drugs listed?

Of the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs, there are four that are not covered under the Medicaid program. They include CIALIS, PROMETH/CODEINE SYRUP, TUSSIONEX, and VIAGRA. Prices for these drugs are not available at this time for pharmacies that do not submit their prices directly.

9. How can I avoid potentially harmful drug interactions?

It is good practice to obtain all of your prescription medications from the same pharmacy so the pharmacist can help you avoid potentially harmful interactions. Keep careful records of the medications you are taking including the non-prescription medications. Bring these records to the attention of your health care practitioner and pharmacist who may not be familiar with your complete medical history. Always let your health care practitioner or pharmacist know if you have an unexpected reaction to a medication.

10. What services are available at pharmacies?

  • 24 Hour Service: The pharmacy is either open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or provides 24-hour on call telephone coverage.
  • Refill Reminder: The pharmacy will notify patients when their prescription is approaching depletion.
  • Immunizations (Flu & Pneumonia): The pharmacy is certified to administer flu and pneumococcal disease vaccinations.
  • Home Delivery: The pharmacy provides prescription drug delivery services.
  • Drug Compounding: Compounding is the process of mixing drugs by a pharmacist to fit the unique needs of a patient. This may be done for medically necessary reasons to change the form of the medication from a solid pill to a liquid, to avoid a nonessential ingredient that the patient is allergic to, or to obtain the exact dose needed. It may also be done for voluntary reasons such as adding favorite flavors to a medication.

11. Why am I unable to see any services for the pharmacy listed on the pharmacy search results page?

This information is obtained from pharmacies on a volunteer basis. Even if your pharmacy offers any of these services it may not have participated in this process. As always, contact your pharmacy directly for any questions you may have about your prescriptions and the services they offer.