Objective: To determine whether retail prices for prescription drugs are higher in poorer areas.
Data sources: The MyFloridarx.com website, which provides retail prescription prices at Florida pharmacies, and median ZIP code income from the 2000 Census.
Study design: We compared mean pharmacy prices for each of the four study drugs across ZIP code income groups. Pharmacies were classified as either chain pharmacies or independent pharmacies.
Data collection: Prices were downloaded in November 2006.
Principal findings: Across the four study drugs, mean prices were highest in the poorest ZIP codes: 9 percent above the statewide average. Independent pharmacies in the poorest ZIP codes charged the highest mean prices.
Conclusions: Retail prescription prices appear to be higher in poorer ZIP codes of Florida.