Message Board User's Guide, Rules of Engagement, Posting Photos

 
Register  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Note: This topic is locked. No new replies will be accepted.


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
BroJoe

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,262
Reply with quote  #1 

I just got this from a friend in San Diego and checked it on http://www.snopes.com.  I'll post a companion explanatory piece later.

 

 
-------Original Message-------
 
Subject: FW: : Costco Pharmacy
 



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 ingredi ents: $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 pa in 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 onto your own e-mail list, 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: 202-482-4458Office Fax: 202-482-5480
E-mail Address: sdavis@doc.gov

 

 

 

 


__________________
Bro. Joe
BroJoe

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,262
Reply with quote  #2 

and also from a USN CAPT Ret  - 

 

While the cost of the ingredients of the pills is generally low, the total cost has to include sometimes years of research, testing, clinical trials and paperwork to get FDA approval. This adds up to millions, if not billions for each new drug. then once approved, add the potential liability to the company (look at vioxx- and fosamax) and the costs of FDA oversight of the record keeping and manufacture. Once the drug is approved, the company has a patent for 8 years after which any company can make a competing product or generic equivalent, and then market that drug at a price which does not have to reflect the research and development already done.
 So the company has only 8 years to recoup the development and distribution costs, and of course turn a profit before a newer drug takes the market or the "patent" expires. Plus the pharmacist that dispenses it, the pharmacy that he/she works with, the technicians etc, all need to pay the rent, too.
   It has been said that if a company had to reintroduce aspirin today- a truly wonder drug- that it would never get FDA approval
 When you send your kid to the oral surgeon for extraction of wisdom teeth- the sedation will typically cost over $300. The actual cost of drugs, about $5. But then there is the cost of the malpractice insurance (roughly 6 times higher because of the sedation), the licensing for the sedation, the years of traing to provide the sedation, the drugs that sit in a little box and are almost never used, but have to be there for anesthetic emergencies, the cost of the very expensive monitors to keep you kid safe, the record keeping, the cost of continuing education to be legally allowed to continue to administer anesthesia for both the doc and the assistants, the slary of the extra assistants required for administration of anesthesia, the cost of the oxygen and the oxygen administration equiptment, and the cost of all the backup systems in case a primary system goes down.
 My point is, the cost of the raw ingredients is only a miniscule percentage of the real costs. a 20K% markup is not telling the whole story.
 
 No, I do not work for, or have an interest in any drug companies.

__________________
Bro. Joe
BobJohnston

Avatar / Picture

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,092
Reply with quote  #3 

In keeping with this line of thought, my Brother in law is a doctor.  Until recently he was a surgeon, but stopped doing surgery.  There was one procedure he performed that he charged three hundred dollars for, BUT, the insurance to cover the procedure cost him three hundred fifty dollars.  It actually cost him fifty dollars every time he did this procedure.  My sister in Vegas is in the health field and she can't get doctor appointments for months.  Insurance costs are getting so bad out there that doctors are closing up their offices and leaving.  One did so with patients in the waiting room!  Most of the problem lies with the malpractice insurance costs.  In this sue happy world we're in, the lawyers are driving the doctors out of business.  Yes, the politicians who direct policy are lawyers too, it's a catch twenty two situation for the doctors!  No wonder a visit to the doctor has become an assembly line like atmosphere.  If they don't see a different patient every fifteen minutes, they're losing money.

I have no love for doctors either and have some views on them too.  But, even they are getting screwed these days, just like the rest of us.  As for the drug companies, I tell my doctor that I don't believe in padding pockets.  The companies will change an ingredient for a drug, just to renew a patent to make more money.  I tell him that if there isn't a generic available, don't bother writing it because I won't fill it.  Last year's wonder drug is this year's generic and that's good enough for me.


__________________
Bob Johnston
Even being good for nothing, makes you good at something!
laguna_b

Avatar / Picture

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 2,912
Reply with quote  #4 
Bro. Joe,
This is the standard defense for drug companies that you presented. The fact is that they spend, as an industry, ~17% on R&D and ~18% on MARKETING. So, we all get to read and watch all the ads for drugs we really can do without along with all the nasty side effects, etc. We pay for those ads everytime we buy drugs. We should BAN drug advertising in any but the most arcane medical journals and the savings would be huge!
ALSO, why is it that the costs of the same drugs are HUGELY more expensive in the USA when the same product is a fraction of the cost in other cuntries that control prices?
The fact is that in spite of all the risks and costs of R&D as well as liability, the drug companies are one of the MOST profitable. Not because they do such a good job at making drugs but rather because they pay off thier PACs to keep legislators in line.
American health care is SICK.
Barry

__________________
REAL Patriots Defend The Constitution!
TerrencePTuffyLSA69

Avatar / Picture

SPONSOR & Russell's Pal
Registered:
Posts: 3,704
Reply with quote  #5 
Where's our Pfizer rep? Yo! Billy.
__________________
Terrence P. Tuffy

Be steady in your convictions, and be a person of your word.
Book of Sirach 5:10
EPD

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 175
Reply with quote  #6 

Bob,

 

Contrary to popular belief, most legislators are NOT lawyers.  Perhaps the groups with the biggest lobby are the insurers, who seem to be able to afford more real estate ownership than any other business.  Also, the doctors have a strong lobby across the board.

 

HMO's do not bear a fair share of their burden when it comes to disallowing coverage which may have an adverse effect on the patient.

 

For the record, I do not handle Med. Mal. cases, but if a doctor is injuring someone thru negligent behavior, than they should no longer practice.  Also, premiums for all but orthopedic surgeons and OB/GYN's have been declining in price, relative to the bad actions of the few.  It is not easy to prove malpractice and doctors are given wide leeway in what is considered to be within acceptable bounds.  Doctors and insurance companies have pushed for tort reform which, in essence, may punish those most in need of continuing care and pain and suffering for a lifetime.  What will a $250,000 cap do for someone who is in constant pain over time?

 

Only cases bordering on the absurd seem to reach the public.  If an infant or an elderly person is injured or dies as the result of med. mal., their lives have almost no value.  This is an injustice.

 

I rest my case.

Eileen D. '70

BroJoe

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,262
Reply with quote  #7 

 Snopes has a more extensive list  w/ price comparisons also.

 

Barry, I agree about the unnecessary print and media advertising driving up the costs.  What ever happened to Doctors selecting what should be good for you?  Now, you're supposed to tell him?

Thanks Eileen for the info on the insurance and the outrageous tort reform efforts.  Amazing how money colors policy.

 

 


__________________
Bro. Joe
BroJoe

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,262
Reply with quote  #8 

another reaction to the Costco post from the original circle-

 

This following is my daughter' s response. Rebecca is a pharmacist working for CVS.
 
Wow, I have many things to say about that email.  First of all, Costco is going out of business and CVS is buying a lot of them.  So that is the price they are paying for charging so little for their prescriptions.  Secondly, I don't price anything, so saying that I charge $80 when I only have to pay $10 is a bunch of crap!  I have little to nothing to do with the price of any medications.  The only time I change the price of a drug is when I decrease the price to the cost price that CVS pays for it.  Yes, I do have the power to do this, and yes I have done this in the past.  All companies have a minimum drug cost.  For example, if you have no insurance and come to CVS, the price of the med will not go below $10.99 regardless of how many tablets you are getting.  If we are talking about an expensive drug, like Viagra that costs about $12 a tablet, this never comes into consideration.  But if you come in and only want to buy 5 Hydrochlorithiazide (or HCTZ, a blood pressure medication) without insurance, it will cost $10.99 for 1 tablet and $10.99 for probably about 50 tablets (been on the market a long time, very cheap drug).  Now when this happens, I will look up the cost price of 5 tablets and change the charged price to that.  And guess what?  I get paid the same amount regardless.  So I do not pocket anything from this supposed over-charging of people.  So to say that the pharmacist is not telling the customer how much the drug is actually costing is obnoxiously misleading.  Lastly I will address the most absurd part of the entire email.  I don't believe anyone ever claimed that the cost an active ingredient is what causes drugs to be so expensive (until now that is).  That is a first to me.  People have no idea what drug companies have to go through to put a drug on the market.  And I am not defending the extreme costs of some meds, but there is reason behind it.  In almost every other country, a company has to do a small study or publish some information about the way their new medication works and their drug gets put on the market.  Boom, no high drug costs.  Here in the US, or the world of suing and lawyers, the FDA requires numerous studies and publications.  There are 4 steps to getting a drug placed on the market, and not all medications make it through all 4 steps without having to repeat any.  Once a drug company gets to the point where they may have a medication to put on the market, they have to submit a report to the FDA explaining the possible medication and the good it would do if marketed.  If approved, then they have to go through a series of studies.  Animal studies, small human population studies, large human population studies, and studies of varying lengths of time.  If at any point, the FDA stops the study or some adverse affect happens, well, it's back to the drawing board.  And some possible medications that companies and scientists have dedicated months or years to never even make it to this point.  But guess what no one thinks about?  People still have to get paid for doing all that work for a drug that never gets marketd.  The scientist, the lab techs, the janitor in the building for Christ's sake, still have to be paid and the drug company has made absolutely nothing and has no drug to market.  Then after all the studies, the companies have to publish the results (regardless of whether or not they are favorable) and submit again to the FDA for final approval.  THEN the drug is placed on the market.  In conclusion, the high prices are not paying for the active ingredient, and it is absurd to even suggest such a thing.  The high prices are to pay for research and studies and (God forbid) some profit to the drug companies.  So the drug companies want to make a certain amount of money while paying for all the employees that were involved in the making of medications past, present, and future and they sell to the pharmacies at a certain price.  The pharmacy companies (and I mean corporate CVS, not my own freaking store) want to make a certain amount of money while paying their employees, so they increase the prices accordingly.  Whether it is right or wrong, that is the way this country works.  If people didn't sue at the drop of the hat (I'm fat, lazy, don't exercise, and smoke, but I started this new medication so that MUST be the reason I had a heart attack), maybe the measures to put a drug on the US market wouldn't be so extreme.  Questions anyone?  I will step off my soap box now! 


__________________
Bro. Joe
TerrencePTuffyLSA69

Avatar / Picture

SPONSOR & Russell's Pal
Registered:
Posts: 3,704
Reply with quote  #9 
Barry, I think Rebecca was talking to you.
__________________
Terrence P. Tuffy

Be steady in your convictions, and be a person of your word.
Book of Sirach 5:10
laguna_b

Avatar / Picture

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 2,912
Reply with quote  #10 
TT, not really unless she was warning me that Costco was going out of business...which I find absurd.
Her points about the long list of costs associated with getting a drug to market were very subjective. I agree it costs a lot to make sure of effectivity and safety, but as I pointed out, they spend more on marketing (by thier own figures) than they do on research and of course contrary to what Rebecca said, there is no problem squeezing out profits...this is probably the highest profit margin industry in existance for its size.
So, if lipitor is the same in all countries why is it so expensive to buy in the USA?

A couple years ago 60 Minutes did a great program on drug costs...worth looking up to see. Interesting since no program benefits more from all these ads.


__________________
REAL Patriots Defend The Constitution!
laguna_b

Avatar / Picture

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 2,912
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
First of all, Costco is going out of business and CVS is buying a lot of them.


Rebecca....if you have such inside info I suggest you immediately SHORT COSTCO stock. I looked at the 5 year stock chart and for a company going out of business, they look more like they are going to town!  The investment community clearly LOVES them.
Barry


__________________
REAL Patriots Defend The Constitution!
TerrencePTuffyLSA69

Avatar / Picture

SPONSOR & Russell's Pal
Registered:
Posts: 3,704
Reply with quote  #12 
One thing Barry, I have to agree with you is about all this drug advertising. "Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead.Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead. Head On. applied directly to the forehead. etc" Drives me nuts
__________________
Terrence P. Tuffy

Be steady in your convictions, and be a person of your word.
Book of Sirach 5:10
laguna_b

Avatar / Picture

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 2,912
Reply with quote  #13 
TPT, I haven't even seen this ad....you need to get a Tivo. I miss ALL the political crap commercials and bogus Proposition commercials along with the regular ads. I didn't even know they were still doing the political ones until I noticed stuff flying by between 60 Minutes segments.....Why is it that political ads are such crap, on both sides....fear mongering with no real information.....makes me HAVE to read the voter pamphlet.
PS I will have to google that commercial, now I am curious.

PPS...I saw it on YOUTUBE....ACH! Worth the price of a TIVO!!!!!


__________________
REAL Patriots Defend The Constitution!
BobJohnston

Avatar / Picture

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,092
Reply with quote  #14 

While there are extremes to the med malpractice problem, some of the underlying reasons are the doctors themselves.  There are some pretty arrogant doctors out there, who feel their word is the final word on the issue and they are above making errors.  For these, there should be no limit on the amounts one may collect when their arrogance costs someone a lifetime of problems.  Like the fools who amputated the wrong leg, or the one who performed invasive surgery on the wrong patient!  But, the lawyers are still to blame for some of the stupid suits brought.  Oh my, I bought a cup of hot coffee and spilled some on myself, it must be the store's fault so I'll sue them.  Worse than the shyster who takes on the case, is the fool of a judge who'll actually entertain it!  Sort of like a person got stitches for a cut, but was still bleeding.  The doctor obviously must've not done things right, so sue the bum!  Never mind you were instructed to keep it dry, but went for a swim instead.

While the insurance industry has a major lobbying group, so too, do the drug companies.  This is a reason our costs are where they are, as compared to Canada's.  Another thing overlooked so far is the federal grants, and other funding, these companies get to do research and discovery.  The arguement for the costs of these procedures are akin to saying that the phone company should charge more for researching technology in bettering service.  Of course, the phone company doesn't need the government to legislate buying service from Canada because it's more reasonably priced.  Kudos to Massachusetts, for bucking the feds and offering Canadian drugs for their employees in order to cut costs!


__________________
Bob Johnston
Even being good for nothing, makes you good at something!
Curatolo

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 576
Reply with quote  #15 

 

Friends:

 

  I enter this fray with trepidation, and disclose immediately that I have worked in the Research Division at Pfizer for 23 years.  I do not have time to enter into long analyses of drug pricing (which is not my expertise anyway).  I do want to point out that we (Pfizer) are spending over $7 billion dollars per year on medicinal research.  (None of this money comes from government grants; it comes from drug sales.)  The work we do is at the highest level of technical quality, and we are researching all major diseases from cancer to AIDS to frailty to diabetes to stroke to Alzheimers to......  We have very recently launched new drugs for smoking cessation (which I am optimistic about) and for cancer (Sutent).  It is unfortunate that the "man on the street" does not get to see the enormity of our laboratory effort.  When I was an academic, I could not have imagined what went on in a place like this, where all work is focussed on the goal of drug discovery, where we constantly reevaluate our successes and failures, and where we never give up.  (When I was an academic, when something failed, I could just choose to look at another problem, and as long as I published a paper, I was a success.  In my current world, you cannot turn away from failure - you keep on pushing toward your goal with a long term view.) 

 

In my 23 years here, I have seen only dedication to curing disease, with no cynicism about making money or taking advantage of people.  The scientists and physicians here are dedicated to the goal of discovering new medicines.  I doubt that the situation is different at any other "innovator" drug company.  Call me a Pollyanna, but I see Pfizer as an institution of great value to society.  How society pays for this should certainly be up for debate, but we should be careful about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

 

  Pfizer has probably suffered a blow to its reputation because of the serendipitous discovery of Viagra (which by the way does help people).  I became aware of this a couple of years ago when I was asked to talk to actors and playwrights and directors at the National Playwrights' Conference about scientific creativity and passion.  One of the young actors actually asked "How can you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning when you work on a drug like Viagra rather than on a cure for cancer?"  One of my fellow scientific panelists didn't miss a beat, and asked back "How can you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning when you work in commercials instead of in plays?"  The point, of course, is that we plow our profits (from Viagra and other things) into an earnest search for cures for cancer and other diseases.  Ask yourself where the profits of generic companies go.

 

  Enough for now.  I attach the following from Reuters today, for your information.  (Back to work!)

 

- Bill  '66

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's new cancer drug Sutent is effective for
patients suffering from advanced gastrointestinal tumours which do not respond
to the standard treatment, researchers said on Wednesday.

The drug, which is also known as sunitinib, is used to treat advanced kidney
cancer. But research published online by The Lancet medical journal shows it
helps patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) resistant to
imatinib, which is sold by Novartis AG under the name Gleevec.

"Although the exact molecular mechanisms might be multifactorial and require
further study, our findings show that sunitinib is an effective therapeutic
option for patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumour after failure of
imatinib," said Dr George Demetri, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston,
Massachusetts, who led the research team.

Sutent is part of a new generation of targeted cancer drugs that are gentler on
patients than chemotherapy, which can cause serious side effects as well as
nausea.

GIST usually grows in the stomach or small intestine but it can occur in almost
any part of the digestive track. Sutent is given when Gleevec does not stop the
cancer from growing or in patients who cannot tolerate it.

The researchers tested the oral treatment on 312 patients in 11 countries. They
were given Sutent or a dummy pill in six-week cycles with four weeks on
treatment and two weeks off.

The study was cut short when patients on the treatment showed a much longer
median time to tumour progression of 27.3 weeks compared to 6.4 in the placebo
group.

"Time to tumour progression, progression-free survival, overall survival, and
other measures of tumour response were significantly greater in patients
treated with sunitinib than in those in the placebo group," said Demetri.

He added that side effects, which included fatigue, diarrhoea, skin
discoloration and nausea, were tolerable.


Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:


Create your own forum with Website Toolbox!