Buying Drugs

Discussion in 'The Chatterbox' started by Pureslab, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Pureslab

    Pureslab New Member

    This is a very interesting article it will be a topic that 99.99% of us are familiar with.

    Costco - Unbelievable! Generic Drugs
    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 ..

    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' 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
    Room 6839
  2. hoglahoo

    hoglahoo Yesterday's News

    what's even worse are those dry cleaning places. Their markup is infinite! I mean, I pay them money and all I get is my own stuff back, it's sickening. Observe:

    Wash my socks: 5 pounds
    Consumer price (all my socks): $28.35
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0
    Percent markup: 28.35/0 * 100% = ∞%

    Do my other laundry: 3 shirts, 2 pants, and a negligee
    Consumer price (dirty laundry): $84.79
    Cost of general active ingredients: $0
    Percent markup: 84.79/0 * 100% = ∞%

    I don't care that I can't or won't do the work myself; labor and overhead should be free, I say! And darn those other costs they claim to have, like equipment and research. Silliness. Why, I ought to simply take $0 of my own money and pay for my own active ingredients. Why, I'll save a bundle and be none the worse for it! Wish me luck :)
  3. Penhooligan

    Penhooligan New Member

    Wow...quite sickening, costco here I come.
  4. jon

    jon Member

    I'm sick of the us vs. them mentality. Drug companies are screwing us, pharmacies are gouging us, etc. Of course everyone looks at the markup and not the cost of research and development. If drug companies couldn't recoup their costs by marking up their pills, then we wouldn't very many advances in medicine. And there is nothing wrong with pharmacies charging whatever they want as long as there is no collusion. One pharmacy charges a lot so Costco steps in, underprices them, and takes away their business. Problem solved.
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Well-Known Member

    I think the issue has become the fact that drugs and healthcare , two human right noncommodifiables have been monetized and turned into just that something bought and sold on the market. So long as that prevails life saving drugs or medical treatment is dispensed under the law of private profit not humanitarian, citizenship rights or peoples needs. If you let the market economy wheel and deal your health their business model trumps your health care needs.If Americ

    Even if big pharma recoups RD money they still will charge huge profits on drugs because its a profit driven business and our health needs are almost incidental. Big Pharma has a powerful influenctial relationship with the FDA. They fund PACS and pay lobbyists, they influence peddle politicians,they have the power to make the American President modify policy to account for their needs. Are they doing this because they care or to guard monopoly, their market and to keep the healthcare needs of the public from infringing on on their superexpoitation of the drug market.
  6. NoobShaver

    NoobShaver BGDAAA

    I appreciate the frustration caused by the ongoing healthcare debate as well as the high cost of drugs- but pharma's not the big bad wolf, here. They're not necessarily good people, either.

    Pharma's hurting along with the rest of us. They're slashing budgets and cutting positions (esp. in research, where our new drugs come from) in order to stay afloat in a hostile environment.

    Remember that the U.S. currently funds the majority of the world's drug research. Also, it helps to know that that research is massively expensive and that current copyright laws give companies a narrow window for recouping losses incurred during development (research + government regulations + who knows what else). Add to that the ever present spectre of lawsuits due to side effects.

    All this does *not* mean that pharma's blameless, but it does mean that the companies are not heartless vampires, seeking to bleed the life from everyone and anyone just to gain a profit.

    *Personal note* My brother works as a chemist for pharmaceutical company and the layoffs right now are massive and wide reaching. In his own words, "the industry's been unhealthy for some time but now its reaching critical mass."
  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Well-Known Member

    Appreciate your comment. The car salesman who should take a commission of $200 will use every selling trick in the book to get his $2000 commission. He isn't an evil vampire either, he'll say, thats business, the logic of the deal, he needs to be greedy to make a living for his family, no law against it, self interest. Okay its a car and if I get taken its still just a car and embarassment.. But putting medicine and healthcare under those same laws of the market is proving to be ineffcient and life threatening and pretty insane.

    Why do they produce and rush these drugs to market with all those side effects we learn about later, money, do business. Long range health effects on the public doesn't interfere with business but as the public we should have moral protection more against that.

    Why do I turn on my tv and see the constant barrage of pharma advertising trying to convince me I have need for a skin clearing birth control pill or ADHD meds cause I can't organize myself. They are made aware of the deplorable social effects of using advertising propaganda to hook people on meds but still they do it and will fight for their right too. There not evil but the law of the market place they are living by makes them act accordingly and the publics protection and welfare are not considered as important.

    Business monopolies like Big Pharma do wield power beyond pill pushing and participate and influence the national political debate on health, and their money and power excersises enormous influence, again, driving that is not evil or good but business and most Americans don't want business and marketing decisions dictating the conditions under which we get cured of illness.

    No harsh disagreement or angry arguement here just talking.

    Not to sidetrack, but I lived in lovely alcohol dry Pineville and in downtown Alexandria for awhile and it was nice, great people, superb quality of life.
  8. sparky5693

    sparky5693 Administrator Staff Member

    Wow, if those numbers are accurate, what a mess!
  9. PhilNH5

    PhilNH5 Member

    An insiders perspective

    I need to throw my admittedly biased hat into the ring. I work for a drug company. I manage a Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics lab. I supervise 7 scientist in the BioAnalytical Group as well.
    We get plasma samples after a subject has been dosed. We determine how much drug is in your body, how long it hangs around and what is it doing while it's in there.
    It is estimated that it costs $740 million dollars to get a drug to market. We are a highly regulated industry. We do many tests because the FDA mandates them.
    Once a drug is synthesized it undergoes testing. Pharmacolgists use cell based assays to look for activity. Once they have a positive hit they move to animal models to look for efficacy. If the drug passes that screen we run the studies for my group to quantify levels in the body (start with rodent species). My group uses instruments call LC/MS systems. Each one averages 500,000 USD. WE HAVE 10 of these. If the compound still looks good we may try to go to market. We notify the FDA of our intent. Now starts the real work. We run metabolism studies to see if any harmful products are formed. We run Ames cancer mutagenetic assays. We do PK studies in 3 species. We run tox studies, dose studies and set up two year safety studies. The FDA is monitoring all of this. After about 5 years and 250 million USD we may get permission to go into man. First study (phase one) is in young healthy adult males. We are looking for how well it is tolerated. No attempt to measure efficacy. We just look for adverse effects. The clinicians run this part. They are PhD level desk jockies who interpret the data. They include toxicologists, biostaticians and pharmacokineticists. There are also MDs at our company and at the study sites.
    If the compound looks good still we petition the FDA to dose the target population. If you are testing a cure for baldness you enroll hairless men as study participants. This is a small pool of subjects and we are testing for efficacy ie. Does the drug grow hair on bald heads. The FDA monitors us heavily here. We may manipulate dose to find the proper level to get results. My lab is constantly monitoring plasma concentrations. If the drug works we move onto phase three which is a large population study of target patients. This study is large enough to collect meaningful safety and efficacy data. At this point the FDA is very involved. They may ask for additional studies or to go over old data again. Phase Three studies and any additional FDA requests add 2 to 4 years to the process. Industry average time to market is 9 years. And we've spent 750 million at this point. The worse case scenario is the drug does not work. All the computer simulations and animal studies in the world will NOT predict how the molecule reacts in a human.
    I worked on 5 molecules once that cured 7 different types of solid form tumors. Complete regression of tumor growth. It was very exciting. All of the tests were on human cancer cell lines and then on tumors xenografted onto a special strain of mice. Amazing results every step of the way. They worked wonders on the most common breast cancer tumors. A decision (much higher than me) was made to take all 5 drugs into man. Once in the clinic not a single one worked. 7 years of extremely promising research down the tubes.
    If the drug fails you need to recoup you investments from the successful drugs. And we burned through 7 -11 years of patent protection doing all of the FDA mandated tests. That leaves us with 3 -7 years to recoup costs before generics enter the field.

    Now 95% of drugs never make it into man. Of those that do only 10% make it to phase two. The rest had adverse effects and could not progress any farther. At that point you are out about 300 million USD. That's real money.
  10. PhilNH5

    PhilNH5 Member

    Con't insiders perspective

    I am on my iphoneand it is tough to type. I submitted above before I was finished.

    So you can see the expense to get a safe efficacious drug to market. Nothing is ever rushed. But also we live in a litigous society. The infamous phen/fen were two competing drugs be prescribed off patent meaning not for intended use. Yet the original drug producers were sued successfully when the combo proved fatal.
    So while the original post May be true it is disingenuous at best and a distorted truth at least. The so called breakdown does not include any cost of research. Only cost of production for a currently marketed drug.
    I work very hard to help produce drugs and think my company plays
    an important role in treating unmetmedical needs. I am tire of drug companies being painted as the bad guys. We are a business that needs to make a profit just like every other business.
    Well ifyou read this far I thank you for your time.
  11. Mynorx

    Mynorx New Member

    PhilNH5 you are right!

    you are right. a lot of times we don't understand why a product is so expensive. I am a small business owner. and the time and effort that goes in to production for a new product is extensive. there are a lot of hoops to jump through, unless you are directly involved in the industry you are not aware of the costs and massive effort that takes place in production. also all those people inventing the products are well deserving of their salaries. if you think about it. why do some of us pay 30 + dollars for shaving soap. when its only a few cheap ingredients as well.
  12. Hanzo

    Hanzo Well-Known Member

    Interesting comments Phil , thanks for providing the inside scoop.;)
  13. hoglahoo

    hoglahoo Yesterday's News

    because we think it's worth it

    same with the pills
  14. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Interesting, a "US Government Official" writes a whole lot of stuff about drug prices....then tells you to shop at Costco?


    Costco must be pretty happy!
  15. NoobShaver

    NoobShaver BGDAAA

    I really like Pineville, although the dry parish thing really irks me. You shoulda seen the look on the clerk's face the first time I went to the grocery store to buy beer. You'd have thought I'd stepped in something smelly and had been tracking it all over his clean floor.

    thanks for explaining better than I ever could. As I said before, my knowledge comes second hand via my brother, but he says pretty much exactly the same thing as you.
  16. MrShaveIt

    MrShaveIt New Member

    Drug Companies, Banks, and Government. All bad news ;)
  17. jimmyfingers

    jimmyfingers Member

    part of the reason I make sure to have uber good health insurance in case I ever need a prescription. The last script I picked up was for a bottle of allergy eye drops in a tiny tiny tiny bottle. W/o insurance it would have cost 140 dollars.
  18. x_z_1

    x_z_1 New Member

    That is the nice thing about being in vet med. While we do jack up the price some, it usually maxes out at about 100%. ( a month supply of drug X costs us 10 dollars and we sell it for 20$)
  19. southernscribbler

    southernscribbler Well-Known Member

    Not being a particularly religious person, I feel the need to interject a (quote?) from the Bible, not trying to bring religion into this, but just stating a very literal saying of "Money is the root of all Evil". Also to use a quote from a Movie I once saw, "It's ALL about the Benjamans". Nothing wrong with free enterprise and being profitable, BUT, Damn! These groups, not just the Pharmas and Health Care, but ANY outfit that makes these kinds of profit margins, should be denounced, tried and judged of crimes against Humanity. I liken to a time I took my PU truck to a mechanic for repair. I told him that I didn't mind him making a living off of me, but don't plan to retire at my expense.
  20. NoobShaver

    NoobShaver BGDAAA

    I'd like to offer a gentle correction:

    "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. (1 Tim. 6:10)"

    It's the love of the thing that's wrong, not the thing itself. The rest of your point is in line with this verse, although I'd like to ask: who decides what's an acceptable profit margin? Me? You? The Government?

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