October 30, 2013

Block Buster Delays: Why Prescription Drugs Can Cost so Much

Filed under: drug costs,drugs — Tags: , — drwatson @ 11:57 pm

why_prescription_drugs_cost_so_muchMost people in the US do not know that they are paying ten times more for prescription drugs than they should be. Big companies, through deal delays, have manipulated the US market for prescription drugs. How so? They pay off smaller companies to hold off on the release of their cheaper drugs for up to nine years. This has been happening for many years and is not considered as illegal… yet.

A Reason Why Prescription Drugs Cost so Much

According to the report from Community Catalyst and USPIRG (United States Public Interest Research Group), giant pharmaceutical companies have monopolized most of the blockbuster generics in the market. Consumers have no choice but to purchase branded drugs when they could have had cheaper generic alternatives. This means that consumers suffer with the large costs of prescription drugs, while allowing the giant pharmaceutical companies to earn an estimated $98 billion in sales.

Top 10 Blockbuster Generics

Here are the 10 blockbuster generics delayed by deal delays based on the annual US sales.

1. Lipitor

Lipitor is used to help lower a person’s cholesterol level and treat coronary artery disease. The cost of this brand name drug dropped from $205 to just $18 for generic after nearly a two year delay.

2. Tamoxifen

This drug is designed to treat patients with breast cancer and was delayed for nine years, forcing cancer patients to pay $80 more per prescription.

3. Lamictal

This medication is used to treat epilepsy. Its three-year delay forced users to pay 33 times more per prescription than they would have with generics.

4. Cipro

Cipro is used to as an antibiotic to treat bacterial infections and anthrax exposure. Its release was held up for seven years giving the drug manufacturers more than a billion dollars in sales.

5. Provigil

This prescribed drug is used to help people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. It costs patients nearly $1,200 per month, but the manufacturers of this drug paid over $200 million to delay its release by over six years.

6. Aggrenox

This stroke prevention drug is also used to treat blood clots. Its generic release was held up for 7 years and forced users to pay $294 versus the $73 generic.

7. Niaspan

This drug is often prescribed to treat people diagnosed high cholesterol and/or coronary artery disease. It has been delayed in the market for 8 years and is expected to be released into the generic version this year.

8. AndroGel

This synthetic testosterone has been delayed for 8 years and is expected to come out in a generic version in 2015. Until then patients will need to pay an additional $283 per prescription.

9. Nexium

This drug helps to treat GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). While its 6 year wait will not end until 2014, drug makers are raking in over $5 billion dollars per year.

10. Nuvigil

Nuvigil is used to treat narcolepsy and is currently costing patient $450 per prescription. When it is released as a generic in four years, the price will drop to about $113.

If you are just learning about deal delays and finding out about one of the reasons that prescription drugs cost so much, you may be quite angry. The good news is that some members of Congress agree with you. Two separate bills have been introduced in the senate to stop this practice. The Supreme Court may also rule soon as to whether this practice breaks antitrust laws or not.

What is your opinion about deal delays? Let us know in the comment box below.

April 13, 2007

Save money with no-name prescription drugs from Canada

You don’t need to be reminded how expensive prescription drugs are. However, there is an alternative that can help you reduce your drug costs significantly -generic drugs. Generic drugs are safe, effective and save consumers an estimated $8 to $10 billion dollars a year at retail pharmacies!

What are generic drugs?

Generic drugs are identical to or the “bioequivalent” of a brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, quality, how it is taken, performance and intended use.

Are generic drugs as safe as brand-name drugs?

Absolutely. In fact, an estimated 50% of generic drug production actually comes from brand-name companies. These companies frequently make copies of their own or other brand-name drugs, but sell them as generics.

Are generic drugs as effective as brand-name drugs?

Essentially, yes. Almost all people who take generic drugs experience positive results.

Why do generic drugs look different than their brand-name counterpart?

Trademark laws do not allow a generic drug to look exactly like the brand-name drug. However, while colors, flavors and other inactive ingredients may be different, the drug must duplicate the active ingredient.

Why are generic drugs less expensive?

New brand-name drugs are developed under a patent, giving the company the sole right to sell the drug during the patent period.

During this time, a drug company charges more for a brand-name drug to recover the costs of developing the drug, which also includes research, marketing and promotion.

When the patent expires, other manufacturers can begin to produce and sell generic versions of the brand-name drug.

Because these manufacturers don’t have the same research and development costs, they can afford to sell their product at substantial discounts. Also, with more products in the market, there is more competition, which keeps the prices down.

Is there a generic drug for all brand-name drugs?

Unfortunately, no. Currently only half the drugs on the market are available in generic form. The other half are protected under patents, allowing only one company to produce them.

How can I get less expensive generic drugs?

Talk to your doctor. Ask for prescriptions for generic drugs whenever possible.
For very competitive rates, order your prescribed generic drugs from Online Pharmacies Canada.

Online Pharmacies Canada, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC Q37),offers long term prescription drugs for low cost Canadian online pharmacy prices. Online Pharmacies Canada facilitates the review of your Canadian prescription drugs and your general health. We forward all prescriptions to affiliated CIPA certified licensed Canada pharmacies to be filled. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all discount Canadian prescriptions.

For more information on how you can order your Canada drugs call 1-877-536-8162 or visit http://www.onlinepharmaciescanada.com/.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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