JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

One of the best ways to save at the drugstore is to take advantage of new, generic drugs. There are a long list that will see their patents expire this year. That means cheaper, generic versions are hitting the market saving you up to half the retail price.

Gary Roberts of Roberts Pharmacy in San Marco is looking forward to the drop in price for some widely used drugs. Generic forms of Nexium, Celebrex, Cymbalta and Lunesta are either already available or on the way. But, he says you may not notice the huge price drop right away. Roberts told us, "When the FDA first approves the generic equivalent of a brand name drug, there's only a couple companies that receive that first approval. And during that time, there's a slight drop in price from the brand name but not a sizable drop."

It's just a few months down the road when the price really goes down Roberts explained. "After about 6 months, depending on how the product is released, it can become what's called multi-sourced. That means several companies can make it and of course with the increased competition, the price starts dropping."

People spend most of their money on prescriotions at the drug store but over the counter medicines can also be costly. That's why Consumer Reports suggests looking for store brands, also known as house brands.

We found several examples at Roberts Pharmacy. They carry the 'Good Sense' brand. For all-day pain relievers, we found a Good Sense bottle for $4.29.  We compared it with the name brand that contains the same ingredients, Advil,  and that bottle was $8.09.

From pain relievers to decongestants, you can usually find a store or house brand for every product. But Roberts suggests always reading the ingredients before you buy and compare it to the name brand name equivalent. "It's good value for the customer and it's good quality, but again, you want to make sure that your getting quality generic equivalence."


One more way that you can save at drugstore, look for the store or house brands for things like lotion, bandages, dental floss and more. You can save an average of 25% this way according to Consumer Reports.