December 3rd, 2003, 04:40 PM
Price gouging the sick and poor???
I got the following information from a sick friend who is struggling to afford his meds. I do not know who the original author of this information is, but I feel they would not mind me sharing this with you.
This is something of interest to most of you.
Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active
ingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must cost a
lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. We did a search
of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active ingredients found
in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life
Extension, a significant percentage of drugs sold in the United States
contain active ingredients made in other countries.
In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies really
make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of
the most popular drugs sold in America. The chart below speaks for itself.
(A) BRAND NAME OF DRUG
(B) CONSUMER PRICE 100 TABS
(C) COST OF GENERAL ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
(D) PERCENT MARKUP
Celebrex 100 mg____$130.27____ $0.60_____ 21,712%
Claritin 10 mg_____$215.17____ $0.71_____ 30,306%
Keflex 250 mg______$157.39___ $1.88_____ 8,372%
Lipitor 20 mg $272.37 $5.80 4,696%
Norvasc 10 mg $188.29 $0.14 134,493%
Paxil 20 mg $220.27 $7.60 2,898%
Prevacid 30 mg $44.77 $1.01 34,136%
Prilosec 20 mg $360.97 $0.52 69,417%
Prozac 20 mg $247.47 $0.11 224,973%
Tenormin 50 mg $104.47 $0.13 80,362%
Vasotec 10 mg $102.37 $0.20 51,185%
Xanax 1mg $136.79 $0.024 569,958%
Zestril 20 mg $89.89 $3.20 2,809%
Zithromax 600mg $1,482.19 $18.78 7,892%
Zocor 40mg $350.27 $8.63 4,059%
Zoloft 50mg $206.87 $1.75 11,821%
***** Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought
everyone I knew should know about this. Please read the following and
pass it on.
It pays to shop around. This helps to solve the mystery as to why they
can afford to put a Walgreen's on every corner..................
On Monday night, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7
News in Detroit, did a story on generic drug price gouging by pharmacies.
He found in his investigation, that some of these generic drugs were marked
up as much as 3,000% or more. Yes, that' s not a typo..... three thousand
So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and
usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the
pharmacies themselves. For example, if you had to buy a prescription
drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills. The
pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would
only cost $80, making you think you are "saving" $20. What the pharmacist
is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!
At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or
not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he
said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic
I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its
online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the
online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own
experience, I had to use the drug, Compazine, which helps prevent nausea
in chemo patients. I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for
60 pills at CVS. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought
100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could
have gotten 150 at Costco for $28.08. I would like to mention, that
although Costco is a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be
a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance.
You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they
will let you in.
I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and
pasting it into your own email, and send it to everyone you know with an
<edit> Sorry about the formatting but AO strips any spaces over one out of the posts. I formatted the first couple of entrys for easier understanding, you all will get the picture I am sure. Too much stinking trouble to format them all...I am at work and do not have the time </edit>
I have a question; are you the bug, or the windshield?
December 3rd, 2003, 04:48 PM
Now this one isn't quite true. Well, it may be, but there is a generic alternative (alprozolam, and it's the same as xanax, has to be to pass FDA inspections), and I take .5 mgs, I get 90 of them a month. My insurance doesn't even touch it, because it's so cheap. It costs me $6.83/mo for my prescription.
Xanax 1mg $136.79 $0.024 569,958%
However, that's not to say that almost all meds are outrageous. I take two other meds that if it weren't for my insurance, I'd never be able to afford, because one of them is approximately $400/mo, and the other one is actually over $1000/mo. And these aren't life-saving meds or anything, they are an anti-depressant and a mood stabilizer. It's sad that they are so expensive, and what's even sadder is that no one w/out insurance can afford it. What I wonder about is people who actually need meds that are life-saving. Mine improve my life, but technically I could live without them (for a time anyway, until I killed myself, depression is the "silent killer" people think it's not terminal, but it can be) But what about people who need heart medicine, blood pressure medicine, etc.
December 3rd, 2003, 04:52 PM
While I agree that the price of medicine is bloated in the US, I don't feel that the article is entirely fair...it does not take the cost of anything else...it doesn't take into account cost of advertising, R&D (most drugs never make it to market, but the company still has to pay to research them), distribution, lobbying, etc. Do I believe that all the other things justify the prices charged in the US? Absolutely not. But then again, you could make the same argument about the outrageous sums of money that hospitals, doctors, specialists charge as well...
I guess the biggest thing I am upset about was the financial suicide congress agreed to by passing a medicare drug benefit and then FORBIDDING medicare to negotiate favorable drugs prices...you have to be *#()()(($&(&%(* kidding me!
IMHO, the fault for the skyrocketing prices in medicine are a function of insurance coverage...people see those thousand dollar hospital trips but only really care about the 20 dollar copay, so you don't really have that massive anger/incentive to bitch at congress to try something to fix the exponetial growth in the cost of medicine (by medicine I mean drugs, hospitals, doctors, etc). Sadly enough, it won't be something easily fixed since there is no way market forces will be able to control prices (Ie, people won't likely say no, I would rather die than pay for your medicine...)
There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.
(Merovingian - Matrix Reloaded)
December 3rd, 2003, 05:03 PM
I agree, that's the problem, we are kind of over a barrel as consumers, because no, I'm not going to say "hell no I'm not going to take a med that massively improves the quality of my life".... there isn't much you can do except grin and bear it. And insurance is the same, prices keep going up, literally, my husbands company is predicting a cost increase of approximately 40% in January...and what can we do about it? Granted we could shop around for new insurance, but the problem is that individual insurance (insurance not provided by his employer) is even more expensive than what they provide us with. And God knows there is no way, as I've already explained, that I can go without insurance in protest of their prices. And the sad thing is that here in Florida, the doctors just "went on strike" because insurance companies aren't paying them what they want to be paid for their services. I understand that these people went to school for a long time, and have school loans, etc, but how rich do they think they need to be? Going back to the insurance issue...I looked at my husband's pay stub last week...between insurance and taxes, we have gotten less than half of what he has actually earned this year. Does anyone else see a problem with this?