Chemist Budget Tips

Calling around to a number of chemists before you buy a prescription can save you heaps. Recently, making three phone calls saved me $5 on antibiotics for my sinus infection. There was no negotiating or anything, it was just calling the three chemists I knew would be open at 4pm on a Saturday & asking what their price was on my antibiotics.


Chemist Budget Tips


Chemist Budget Tips


Multiply $5 by how many scripts you fill in a year & that could add up to a decent sum of money saved.


It’s also good to call first simply to check they have the drug in stock!


Big note here though: I’ve noticed two big situations where this doesn’t work:

  1. when it’s late at night and there’s only one chemist open. When you gotta get something, you gotta!
  2. with certain classes/types of drugs. I am sometimes given prescriptions for pseudoephadine because even though it’s technically an OTC drug, chemists won’t dispense it without a script because of street drug issues. Calling chemists & asking if they have it in stock & what price WILL get you treated like either a drug addict or like you want to knock over the place later. Annoying & sad, but true and I’ve had it happen to me.


How do you save money on chemists?


Vanessa Smith


  1. Do you mean pseudoephedrine? When I worked in a chemist years ago guys would come in with big stories of travelling and needing to stock up on 30 boxes LOL, yeah right! It’s used to manufacture amphetamines. Dealers used to recruit Uni students to buy it.
    Another good tip is generic brands- 100 paracetamol tabs for $4-5 is far more reasonable than $12 for a box with the same number of pills with the same active ingredient!

    • Yeah, I never spell it correctly! I get there are social issues with it but – call me a bad person – I DGAF about social issues when I’m sick and want to be in bed.
      We always go generic too – paracetamol is bloody paracetamol!

    • Sometimes convenience (or the time of day when only one is open) wins, and I get that.

  2. I was on a health care card when I wasn’t working so my scripts weren’t very expensive. My monthly scripts were like $20 instead of $60-80!

    My mum also belongs to some club thing and is a pensioner so gets like $2 scripts!

  3. It still surprises me that chemists can put their own mark-up on meds via scripts. We are both on various medications and having moved to 2 different areas on the Central Coast it’s taken a bit of time to find 1. a chemist which stocks the meds we take and 2. one which is reasonable in price. I buy panamax paracetomal when needed in 100 pack for ….$1.98 at most pharmacies.

    • And the lack of transparency around the mark up on it – I mean depending on what you’re prescribed, you could get marked as a pharmacist/doctor shopper for wanting a reasonable price for your medications. It’s just too grey and probably not quite unethical, but not good.

  4. thats such a good question! I’ve never thought of it. I usually just get chemist own brands, I ain’t paying more for pretty packaging!

    • This is even on generic! I don’t care what the packaging is either (though I don’t like it when they say “pharmacy preferred brand” as that could mean any brand, not generic, so I always say the word generic) but the variation on generics is still big.

  5. I’m on a concession card so meds are the same price wherever I go, but Paul isn’t. The chemist we go to is a bit more pricey but after having an incorrect dosage dispensed at a different chemist I’m going with one who I trust. Plus it has an app that I can send through to let them know I want to pick up a refill.

    • Yeah, I miss having a HCC for medications. And yeah, that chemist is cheaper but the appalling service and treatment I’ve received – I’ll not be going back there. Nothing is worth that cost. Hope you got that dosage complain sorted out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *