P.M. BRIEFING : Wide Range in Medicine Cost Found

From Times Wire Services

Prescription drug prices vary widely around the country and even between drugstores in the same town, according to a private survey today that found one pharmacy charging nearly $32 more for a heart medication than did a nearby competitor.

The American Assn. of Retired Persons said its survey of prices at 1,050 pharmacies in 42 states found it commonplace for costs to differ by more than 25% within communities, making it important for consumers to shop around.

Nationally, prices varied by factors of up to 14 to 1, AARP said, meaning a person might pay $2 in one region and $28 someplace else for the same prescription.