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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Pharmaceuticals Mark-up Rx several THOUSAND percent!

Posted by on Mar. 7, 2009 at 10:59 PM
  • 13 Replies

If you know me at all, you know I'm not a fan of pharmaceuticals, but this is unbelievable, and it needs to be passed around.

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Story verified at www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/generic.asp


Make sure you read to the end. You will be amazed.


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 ..

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. 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 prices gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. 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.

Sharon L. Davis
Budget Analyst
U.S. Department of Commerce


by on Mar. 7, 2009 at 10:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
IrishRocker
by Member on Mar. 7, 2009 at 11:23 PM

Honestly, this doesnt surpirse me, but it does sicken me, bc alot of these drugs are necessary for people to take. Even switching from walgreens to CVS saved oodles of money. But im going to costco now!!

cm08
by on Mar. 7, 2009 at 11:37 PM

Now this is very good information to know:

"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."

View Full Size Image for sharing. 

Eilish
by on Mar. 7, 2009 at 11:38 PM


Quoting cm08:

Now this is very good information to know:

"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."

View Full Size Image for sharing.

youre welcome

JJTaylor
by Member on Mar. 7, 2009 at 11:56 PM

I have always believed there was huge mark ups... it's sick, sick, sick!!!  The worse part is when I was working in the medical field and the drug reps that came once a week pushing their drugs and they would give away all sorts of products that would have their drugs marked all over the items, pens, stethoscopes, clocks, stress balls... so many things, and the pens were really nice spendy pens and we would get several to go around the office.  Then there was the weekly lunches on the drug companies, lunches catered from places like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Subway, tons of other places... then there was the weekend conferences for doctors and medical employees, they would pay for everything, the hotels, the food, the fun... it was sick!  The doctors were given all sorts of perks to push their newest drugs! 

Granted I did enjoy the free stuff... sadly who wouldn't, I was young and stupid.  I later started to realize all the money they spent on us and the doctors was only a drop in the hat, however, all the mark ups were suddenly explained to me... in the literal sense. 

I have sense realized how much money is thrown around to the doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc., I still feel like there is a huge conspiracy connected with some of the bigger insurance companies, the drug companies and the hospitals... the corporations that own much of our local hospitals throughout the U.S., they keep the prices up, they overcharge for practically everything and know the insurance companies if given enough in their direction will approve it... if it shows they will continue to make tons of profit from the customers/patients the insurance will approve anything... the drug companies and the hospitals get fed the money... it's a horrible vicious circle and we are all the victims. 

Ever wonder why the same exact meds is so much cheaper in other countries... then the med companies and our own government claims the meds are as good as ours?!  If I was a person of one of those other countries I would be concerned since the drug companies and governments and insurance companies are claiming they are inferior if they are purchased outside our borders... does that make sense to anyone??!!!

forsythia_18
by on Mar. 8, 2009 at 7:47 AM

This is absolutely wrong!!  I had no idea they were even allowed to be marked up that high.  I just assumed it was expensive to get those meds because they are mostly imported ingredients. 

Everybody should just grow a little garden of nice little green plants for pain management. lol. must cheaper and much more effective!

underestimated8
by on Mar. 8, 2009 at 9:17 AM

This is disgusting.  I work in the mental health field, and my clients take a lot of meds.  The majority of them cannot work due to their disability.  So all they have are Medicaid and Medicaire, disability and SSI.  I've seen some of them have to go without certain (very necessary) meds b/c none of their insurance will cover it, and a single refill would cost over $300.

I don't know where these pharmacies get off raising prices like this. Times are hard-enough right now.  People shouldn't have to deal with this also.  Why are there no gov't regulations on this type of situation?

  


Junebug926
by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2009 at 9:49 AM

It's interesting you bring this up. We joined Costco a few years ago and just stumbled in to this. I had no idea they would be SO much cheaper!

PestPatti
by on Mar. 8, 2009 at 10:29 AM

 

 Why would anyone be surprised about Pharmaceuticals Mark Ups.     Every product on the market gets Marked Up...     Why would the drug industry be any different.    Common sense,

You might not like my reply, but its the way of the world.   And its been that way for a long time. 

 

dr_m
by on Mar. 8, 2009 at 10:41 AM

it's an abuse and also the patents are like forever until the generic comes out..  these should be shortened, we can put on our list to write to our senators and congressmen about....profit is one thing, greed and lobbying is the outrageous...  part of why our health care costs are helping to bankrupt our economy..  

thanks for the post....

 

moneysaver6
by Gold Member on Mar. 8, 2009 at 10:54 AM

I'm not saying I disagree with you.  I agree completely.  However, that story doesn't tell the WHOLE story.  Some of those drugs on there have generics now that aren't taken into consideration.

For example, I take the generic of Tenormin (Atenolol).  Here's the info the article provides on it: 

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

I take 2 of the 50mg a day & buy my script in a 90day supply.  My 180tablets costs me $14.84 a month ago.  (It has been as high as $26 for 3 mths.)

Also, I checked Costco before I filled my last script by calling them & they were STILL priced higher than Target & Walgreens.  Plus, I got a $25 GC by filling at Walgreens.  (Walgreens was $2 higher than Target, but it cost less in the long run because of the gift card.)

Costco doesn't always have the lowest price, check gift cards to help you save even more if you trasfer your script to a new pharmacy (I do almost every time I fill mine), & make sure you check for generics to save even more if you can tolerate them.

Amy

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