By Bill Symsick,,

I recently had to go on a medication that is fairly common, and, looking to lower the price I was getting at my local pharmacy, I started hunting for a cheaper alternative. I was mostly looking at the major drug store chains with locations near me, but my online searching also turned up “Phil,” which allows you to have your prescriptions mailed to you. I’d never used a mail order pharmacy before, but Phil was giving $20 off the first prescription, so I gave it a try.

Not much to tell, other than it worked as advertised. I got the prescription without any problem, and have used Phil a couple of other times with no issues to report. As far as the prices go, Phil was not much of a money saver; it seemed in line with the prices elsewhere, at least as far as I could tell for my prescription. So, if you give Phil a try, be sure to check its prices against others. (Of course that $20 discount did made the first prescription cheaper.)

For me, I like doing things online and saving myself time wherever possible, and Phil accomplishes that goal. Setting up an account was simple and my prescriptions have always shown up with no problem. Phil is also very communicative in terms of letting you know when your prescription has shipped, so you know to look out for it in your mailbox.

However, here is something to note: Phil is NOT a pharmacy itself, so your prescription will not arrive from Phil directly. Instead, Phil is a network of independent pharmacies. Phil takes the order and handles the payments (and insurance if applicable) but then has one of the pharmacies in its network fill the prescription and send it out. I got my prescription from a pharmacy about two hours away that was sort of in the middle of nowhere.

My understanding of Phil’s business model is that it takes a small cut of each prescription. That doesn’t seem to affect your cost, though. Instead, small pharmacies in small towns that would otherwise not get this extra business are willing to pay a bit to be in Phil’s network. It’s a win-win for Phil and the smaller pharmacies, without extra cost being passed on to you. But, again, always compare prices to be sure!

Bottom line: Phil works, and I like not having to go to my local pharmacy and waiting in line. Plus, if I have a prescription for some medicine that I’m slightly embarrassed about, I always hate having to pick it up face to face. A little anonymity is nice sometimes, so Phil fits the bill there, too. Price-wise I don’t know that the deal is any better, but the convenience makes Phil a good choice for me.