A look at prescription prices and why, sometimes, it's better to pay cash, from Charlie Ornstein, ProPublica.

ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative news operation, got together with the New York Times to look at the baffling world of drug prices and insurance.

Last week, ProPublica’s Charlie Ornstein circulated tips for pill shopping in his email newsletter. It pretty much comes down to knowing how to comparison shop.

- First, check the cost of the prescription through your insurer. Then compare.

- Walmart and Costco are among the outlets that sell generics cheaply - this could cost less than your insurance charges. Online, GoodRx and Blink Health sell discounted generics. Others: LowestMed and HealthWarehouse.com.

- Ask your doctor is there is a generic version of a brand-name drug you are taking. Find out if there is a manufacturer discount card for a particular drug.

- Paying cash might get you a discount, especially at an independent pharmacy.