Federal law is your friend in this case. Due to the way it’s written, Costco must allow you to use the service of their pharmacy even if you don’t have a membership. This means you can take advantage of their inexpensive prices on prescription drugs and immunizations without shelling out $55 for a membership.
To gain access to the Costco pharmacy without a membership, you simple need to tell the card checker at the door you are their to visit the pharmacy and they should let you right in. Once in, it doesn’t give you access to buy anything you want in the store. You are limited to making purchases from the pharmacy (and in some states, alcohol), although there is an easy way to buy anything from Costco without a membership.
If you drive to your local Costco’s pharmacy, you will be able to fill, refill and transfer your prescriptions, but you don’t have to actually go to a physical location to take advantage of their prescription prices. A great option is to order your prescription online through Costco.com. Your prescriptions will be delivered to your home free of charge through standard shipping from the US postal service, and arrive at you home in around 6 to 14 days. This saves you the cost of driving to Costco, and the time it would take out of your day, while still allowing you to get the good pricing.
Another benefit you can get from the Costco pharmacy is standard immunizations. For those who don’t have access to free immunizations through their healthcare, or simply find it more convenient to get them done at a store nearby, Costco has some of the best pricing on immunizations around. You can see a list of the costs here to compare them to other pharmacies in your area. For example, Costco offer a flu shot for $14.99. In addition, they offer immunizations for Hepatitis A and B, HPV, Meningitis, Pneumonia, Shingles, Tetanus/Whooping Cough, and Twinrix. You will need to call your local Costco warehouse to confirm they have the immunization you want in stock before heading over to get it.
It’s important to note that while Costco pharmacies have good overall prices for prescriptions, they don’t always have the best prices. It’s worthwhile to compare with other alternatives in your area to make sure there isn’t someplace you can find your prescriptions for less. It’s also important to note that while Costco pharmacies get good ratings on price, they don’t get the best ratings when it comes to service. If service is more important to you than price, you may want to check out other options as well.
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(Photo courtesy of Orin Zebest)
Jeffrey strain is a freelance author, his work has appeared at The Street.com and seekingalpha.com. In addition to having authored thousands of articles, Jeffrey is a former resident of Japan, former owner of Savingadvice.com and a professional digital nomad.