Not to mention that the research average timespan for a new medication is 10 years.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Tollefson" <mbtoll@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:10 AM
Subject: [GeoStL] Re: NCR-Prescription Prices-NCR
- The truth or fiction article addresses only generics and not the brand name exclusive drugs that start off what Bernie forwarded. I want to point out that the drugs listed at the beginning of this letter are predominately drugs that still have patent protection and do not have a generic available yet. While the simple cost of ingredients is one piece of the puzzle, it is not fair to look at ONLY that. There is the cost of building the plant, maintaining the plant, hiring the operators and support staff, the cost of FDA trials (which is very large), the cost of discovering the target, the cost of developing the assays for that target, the cost of developing models of that disease, the cost of synthesizing thousands of compounds before finding the one that works, is not toxic and can be taken orally and the cost of going after a target but it failing. There is a lot of work and money that goes into the discovery of one new drug while literally dozens fail at the same time.
Generics are completely a different matter which I won't go through here but here is what truth or fiction had to say about it:
Summary of the eRumor A television reporter in Detroit investigated the costs of generic drugs. He accused some pharmacies of price-gouging, with mark ups of as much at 3,000 percent. Generic drugs cost less than name brands of the same medications, but the reporter says the lower price may still represent a high mark-up. He also found that Costco prices were consistently more reasonable
The Truth There seems to have been a rash of TV reports on this subject in various cities.
The report in Detroit was in July, 2002 by Steve Wilson of channel 7, the ABC affiliate. He went from store to store to check on prices of a drug that cost the pharmacy $2. Prices ranged up to $100. He says the blood pressure medication Vasotec can cost about $76 per month. The generic version often sells for $60. But he says it costs the pharmacy less than $6. One pharmacist admitted that the mark-up was "unconscionable." Wilson reports that the widly-used drug Prozac sells for about $100 per month in Detroit. The generic version sells for only $10 or so less, but costs the pharmacy only $2.16 or less. He found that the prices at Costco were consistently cheaper.
In Florida, the same investigation was conducted by WFTV channel 9's reporter Barbara West in October, 2002. She too found high mark-ups on generic drugs. Prozac was selling for 3,000 to 5,000 percent profit. She compared that with if a grocer who bought an orange for 20-cents would sell it at the same mark-up, the orange would cost $10. She quotes a spokesperson for Walgreens as saying that the pharmacies don't make much profit on the brand name drugs and need to charge higher profit on the generics, which they can do while still giving the consumer a better deal than the brand name price. She also found that Costco consistently had the best prices with mark-ups between 86 and 423 percent, not 3,000 to 5,000.
Philadelphia's KYW-TV did the same story in November, 2002. KYW's consumer specialist Paul Moriarty says Rite Aid, Walgreens, Eckerd, and CVS all declined to be interviewed about high mark-ups on generic drugs. He too found that Enalapril, the generic version of Vasotec, selling for $60 at Walgreens and $68 at Eckerd Drugs, even though it costs them about $5, a 1,300 percent mark up. He, too, found Costco to be the cheapest with a cost for Enalapril, for example, of $12.97. He also found lower prices at Wal-Mart and K-Mart, but not as low as Costco.
A 3/11/03 article by Wall Street Journal reporter Francesco Fiondella reflected some of the same findings. That article found prices for generic Prozac ranged from $2 per pill at various pharmacies around New York to 15 cents at, once again, Costco.
--- Bernie <happykraut@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
--------------------------------- - I researched this on Truth or Fiction.com and it is true. Be sure toread about Cosco towards the end of the article. I might save you a fewbucks. Bernie
The following is incredible. Make sure to keep reading to the bottomwhere it discusses Costco, Sam's Club, etc.
The women who wrote this email and signed below are Federal BudgetAnalysts in Washington, DC
Didyou ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the activeingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must costa lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. We did asearch of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the activeingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed inpast issues of "Life Extension," a significant percentage of drugs soldin the United State contain active ingredients made in other countries.
In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companiesreally make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used insome of the most popular drugs sold in America .
The chart 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%
Norvasec 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%
Pri losec 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): $10237 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%
Sincethe cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought everyone Iknew 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 theycan 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 inhis investigation, that some of these generic drugs were marked up asmuch as 3,000% or more. Yes, that's not a typo ... three thousandpercent! So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost ofdrugs, and usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearlylies with the pharmacies themselves. For example, if you had to buy aprescription drug , and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for100 pills. The pharmacistmight tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would onlycost $80, making you think you are "saving" $20. What the pharmacist isnot 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 tothis practice, and he said that Costco, Sam's Club and other discountvolume stores consistently charged little over their cost for thegeneric drugs. I went to the discount store's website, where you canlook up any drug, and get its online price. It says that the in-storeprices are consistent with the online prices. I was appalled. Just togive you one example from my own experience, I had to use the drug,Comparing, which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients. I used thegeneric equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checkedthe pr ice at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at anotherdiscount store for $28.08. I would like to mention, that although theseare a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buyprescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use thepharmacy, and they will let you in.
Iam asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, andpassing it into your own email, and send it to everyone you know withan email address.
Sharon L. Davis, Budget Analyst, US Department of Commerce Room 6839 Office Ph: 202-482-4458; Office Fax: 202-482-5480 Email Address: sdavis@docgov
Mary Palmer, Budget Analyst, Bureau of Economic Analysis Office of Budget &Finance;
Voice: (202) 606-9295
Diane Foster Contracting Officer VA Detroit (313) 576-4281 Diane.Foster@xxxxxxxxx v
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