DOI: 10.1093/jsxmed/qdae001.003 ISSN: 1743-6095

(003) Use of Online Pharmacy Tools May Lead to Significantly Reduced National Expenditures on Vaginal Estrogen

CA Loeb, JA Miller, MA Moukhtar Hammad, M Nguyen, B Azad, FA Yafi
  • Urology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health



High medication costs for vaginal estrogen may create a barrier for patients seeking treatment for numerous urinary and vaginal symptoms and lead to poor medication adherence. The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (CPD) and GoodRx tools offer patients a method to purchase prescription medications at a discount, which may lead to improved medication adherence and decreased national expenditures on such medications.


To compare the pricing of vaginal estrogen as advertised by retail pharmacies, Medicare, and discount listings through CPD and GoodRx.


A review of publicly available data from CPD and GoodRx was performed to obtain listed retail and discounted prices for Estrace (topical), Vagifem (tablet), and Premarin (topical). GoodRx prices were obtained using prices from Costco, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart pharmacies in the most from populous zip code from each of the 3 most populous U.S. states: California, New York, and Texas. Prices were adjusted to account for dosage and prescribed quantity to estimate an average cost per dosage unit ($/adu). The Medicare Part D Drug Spending and Utilization data from 2021 were used to report the average spending per dosage unit and total expenditure for each of the listed medications. These data were compared to create an estimate of average national savings after use of CPD and/or GoodRx.


Average spending per dosage unit for Estrace, Vagifem, and Premarin was lesser when discount tools were used (0.50 $/adu, 3.75 $/adu, and 4.30 $/adu respectively), compared to Medicare pricing (6.14 $/adu, 20.95 $/adu, and 10.10 $/adu respectively) or retail pricing (3.14 $/adu, 10.19 $/adu, and 5.43 $/adu respectively). When adjusted for total dosage units, use of CPD over Medicare pricing for the three medications would result in a combined annual national saving of $64.2M. Use of either CPD or GoodRx compared to retail pricing would similarly result in a combined annual national saving of $39.2M.


The utilization of CPD and GoodRx in the prescription of vaginal estrogen led to a substantial national average cost savings when compared to retail and Medicare pricing. CPD and GoodRx may offer a way to decrease the cost burden for patients seeking treatment for urinary and vaginal symptoms and significantly reduce national expenditures on medications.


Any of the authors act as a consultant, employee or shareholder of an industry for: Advisory board and speaker for Coloplast; consultant for Cynosure; advisory board and speaker for Halozyme; intellectual property with Masimo; advisory board for Promescent; consultant for Sprout; advisory board for Xialla.

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