Did you ever wonder about Drug cost?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fairydust39, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. fairydust39

    fairydust39 New Member



    COSTCO, read this



    Let's hear it for Costco!! (This is just mind-boggling!) Make sure
    you read all the way past the list of the drugs
    The woman that signed below is a Budget Analyst out of federal
    Washington, DC offices.


    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 data below speaks for itself.


    Celebrex: 100 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60
    Percent markup: 21,712%




    Claritin: 10 mg
    Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71
    Percent markup: 30,306%




    Keflex: 250 mg
    Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39
    Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88
    Percent markup: 8,372%






    Lipitor: 20 mg
    Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
    Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80
    Percent markup: 4,696%




    Norvasc: 10 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14
    Percent markup: 134,493%




    Paxil: 20 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
    Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60
    Percent markup: 2,898%




    Prevacid: 30 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77
    Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01
    Percent markup: 34,136%






    Prilosec: 20 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
    Cost of general active ingredients $0.52
    Percent markup: 69,417%




    Prozac: 20 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11
    Percent markup: 224,973%




    Tenormin: 50 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13
    Percent markup: 80,362%






    Vasotec: 10 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20
    Percent markup: 51,185%




    Xanax: 1 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024
    Percent markup: 569,958%




    Zestril: 20 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89
    Cost of general active ingredients $3.20
    Percent markup: 2,809




    Zithromax: 600 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
    Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78
    Percent markup: 7,892%




    Zocor: 40 mg
    Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27
    Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63
    Percent markup: 4,059%





    Zoloft: 50 mg
    Consumer price: $206.87
    Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75
    Percent markup: 11,821%








    Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought
    everyone 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
    percent! 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 drugs.




    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 got 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. (this is
    true)


    I went there this past Thursday and asked them. I am asking each of you
    to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your
    own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.


    Sharon L. Davis
    Budget Analyst
    U.S. Department of Commerce
    Room 6839
    Office Ph: 202-482-4458
    Office Fax: 202-482-5480
    E-mail Address: sdavis@doc.gov





  2. elsa

    elsa New Member

    If something is strongly one direction with sensational wording I tend to take it with a grain of salt. It is too obviously bias as Dr. Stephen Barrett was bias against altern. care.

    Written by a group who has published several times for Life Extention tells me right there which side of the coin they are on.

    Something is missing ... just don't know what. I would be interested in looking more costly at mark ups.

    Thanks for posting ...

    Elsa
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Y'all know I'm not a fan of big pharmaceuticals. They have used contributions (bribes) to members of both parties to ensure their ability to gouge Americans for their drugs.

    That said, however, there are more costs involved in any product than just the cost to produce it. The process of R&D, studies, and pateting drugs is very expensive; not expensive enough to justify the HUGE profits that pharmaceuticals make, but they have to be considered when figuring costs and profits.

    Distribution and marketing also have to be figured in. I am not a fan of marketing drugs by having pharmaceutical reps, who are not doctors, telling docs why they should be prescribing certain drugs. For some docs, this is the only info they get and it sure isn't objective. These reps provide meals for everyone in the office and place all kinds of objects in the office with their drugs' names on them to keep them in front of the docs every hour they are working. Look around the office next time and check how many things have drugs names on them.

    Marketing on TV directly is very expensive and, in my opinion, totally questionable ethically and medically. The last thing we need is patients demanding certain drugs they see on TV. At least, the pharmaceutical companies have to mention the possible side effects of these drugs when they are advertised. They do it so quickly at the end of the ads that it is the eqivalent of small print in a print ad. Some of the possible side effects of new drugs are scary as hell.

    Finally, the cost of active ingredients does not take into account the salaries and overhead of production. By the time all the above are considered, the figures in the original article are not an accurate picture of the markup situation. I do agree that the markups are waaaaaay too much and that Americans, especially, are being gouged. The pharmaceuticals have a right to a reasonable profit, one which is an incentive to continue to develop new drugs, but they have gone way past that. Their influence in the govt. is shameful. The new Medicare Part D is a prime example of their influence and our govt.'s inability to rein them in.

    Stores also have a right to expect a reasonable profit. That COSTCO sells meds cheaper than anyone is reason enough for people to shop there for their meds. If enough people were to do that, the free market would kick in and prices would likely drop at other retail outlets. Many people are not close to a COSTCO or it is far more convenient to just use the pharmacy at the grocery store. A lot of people don't know that one needn't be a member to fill Rx's there.

    Thanks for the article; it is very interesting and I don't disagree with it. I just wanted to add some info so that other factors, beside the cost of the active ingredients, is taken into account. Even when one does take them into account, the profits are still outrageous. Oh, I forgot one cost. It ain't cheap to bribe congress.

    Love, Mikie
  4. fairydust39

    fairydust39 New Member

    I am not close to a Costco and have never been in one but I wish there was one in our area. We don't have many drug stores here and so I usually get them on the net. Canadian drugs are much more reasonable than USA. Maybe half the cost of USA. I check out all the prices on the net and order from the lest expensive one.
    Shirley
  5. WoodstocksMusic

    WoodstocksMusic New Member

    I read this thread about costco and did an ummmmmmm

    Then I remembered an article I read in this weeks issue of FIRST.

    FIRST for women on the go October 17,2005 issue has an article that says CostCo is the place to go if you are looking for lower prescription costs. The article also mentioned that you could get in even without a membership by simply telling them you are going to the pharmacy.

    Interesting that I would see the same thing twice in the same day.

    This is my first issue of FIRST I have ever purchased....I saw an article called wired and tired/ that was talking about mineral imbalance....yada yada yada

    Oh well...I think I will check out costco online next time I need a prescription filled.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    COSTCO used to only take American Express credit cards or checks. It may have changed. I like to charge everything but do not want an AMEX card. My drugs are all cheap, so I've stayed with Albertson's.

    During Snowbird season down here, you can barely get into COSTCO's parking lot. Same for Wal-Mart.

    Love, Mikie