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Cost of drugs

Discussion in 'Health' started by Wag more, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Wag more

    Wag more Well-Known Member

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    I have worked in pharmacies for 8 years and the price of drugs is hard for me to get my mind around. Some are dirt cheap and others are through the roof in cost.
    Furosemide is a generic and costs about $5 for a bottle of 1000 tabs. Less than 1 cent a pill. Alendronate costs less than a dollar for a pack of 4. Loratadine costs about $5 for a bottle of 300.
    And then there is Viagara at $36 per pill. And Cialis about the same. And that new stuff Harvoni for Hepatitis is an incredible $31,000 for 30 tabs.
    Furosemide is less than a penny a pill and Harvoni is over $1000 a pill.
    3 years ago EpiPens were about $350 for a 2 pack. Today they are around $650. The CEO promised a less expensive generic and today we have that generic, epenephrine, in a 2 pack for about $350. Even with a generic the price stayed the same.
    Health costs in this country are inflating more rapidly than just about any other commodity.
    Any of you HOP'ers out there got any sane thoughts how to rein in drug prices without turning us into Cuba?
     
  2. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a complex matter that government has created. You want the product protection FDA can provide but the costs are unmanagable. The international agreements are a mess, start there.
     
  3. Wag more

    Wag more Well-Known Member

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    A new drug comes with an exclusive patent for a number of years. After the patent expires anyone can manufacture the drug as a generic. Same drug just a different name. Usually the price of a generic is a small fraction of the cost of the name brand even though the active ingredients may be identical.
    Viagara costs the pharmacy $36/pill. Generic Viagara, sildenafil, costs $0.19/pill.
    Fortamet costs the pharmacy $1500 for a bottle of 60. Generic metformin costs maybe $0.25/pill.
    Stribild costs $2600/ bottle of 30. Generic hiv/aids meds can cost less than a buck a pill.
    But the price of Epenephrine didn't go down when it went generic: the price of the name brand went up. Going generic usually lowers the cost considerably but if I remember right a patent is for 17 years.
    I appreciate the costs a company must incur to develop a new drug, test it and get FDA approval. But Europe gets new drugs to market quicker than we do. And that means they could shorten the patent time by a few years and get generics available sooner.
     
  4. Wag more

    Wag more Well-Known Member

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    My proposal to lower drug costs:
    1. Adopt a European style FDA and get new drugs to market a few years sooner than we do now.
    2. Lower the number of years the developer of the drug has exclusive rights of sale.
    3. Make safe drugs which now require prescriptions over the counter. You save a bundle without having to see a doc.
    Claritin used to require a doctor's script. Now it is over the counter. Saves at least $75 cuz no need to see a doc.

    The Dems in congress don't really seem to be interested in lowering medical costs. Their focus seems to be on getting someone else to pay. Probably cuz their campaign coffers are lined by Pfizer and Teva and other drug companies.
     
  5. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    And AMA.
    By the way pharma likes OTC. That claratin is expensive but the generic is better.
     
  6. Acesty6

    Acesty6 Member

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    generic medicines are all good and effective then but considering other duplicate it is not a good, can we still trust generic drugs in the market please let me know if it does
     
  7. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Outlaw advertising prescription medications to the general public. While R and D are expensive, advertising is way more expensive, and unnecessary. If the patient needs a particular med, the doctor is the one who needs to know about it.

    2. Allow Medicare/Medicaid to negotiate the price of drugs.
     
  8. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    I am tired of seeing ads of people playing with their puppy and having fun while an announcer talks over it as fast as he can telling us all the horrid side effects of his drug, and ends with "Ask your doctor if this is right for you." I found that my doctor has absolutely no idea on the price of the prescriptions he writes, nor the fact that there are cheaper generics.
     
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  9. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    I find this surprising. All my docs know this stuff.
     
  10. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    free prescriptions....:)
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    "Thisstuff can cause bleeding, nausea, itchy rashes, baldness, and deciduous dick syndrome. In rare instances, sudden death has been reported Shouldn't you ask your doctor if Thisstuff is right for you?"

    all the while showing pictures of people having a wonderful time outdoors, all the picture of good health.
     
  12. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Its the law. But if you have an electron microscope and can read the fine print on the mini tome that comes in the packaging you will see that the risk of those side effects can be quite low. Or not. But at keast you know it was there.
     
  13. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Obviously it was right for them. I would like to see bleeding bald guys with rashes in those commercials.
     
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  14. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    I agree. You would think reciting all that worse case scenario on TV would sort of deter them from ads, but I guess market research says it doesn't matter.
     
  15. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Between my wife and I we have been to a number of specialists. They all are unaware of the price of their prescriptions. My insurance refused to pay for a single $37 antihistamine pill for an Xray procedure. The pharmacist showed me an off-the-shelf generic. A bottle of 60 for half the price of the one. Not prescribing a generic has happened many times.
     
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