May 2, 2011

Rivals in Drug Prices

expensive prescription medicationAs competition increases between brand companies so do the prices of their products. Brand name drug prices have been on the rise for a few years now but recently, there was a huge jump in prices. Finding cheap prescription drugs is getting tougher each year. Drug prices have gone up approximately 6.6% each year between 2006 and 2010.

Benicar, of Daiichi Sankyo, was one of the cheapest blood pressure drugs in its class at the beginning of 2010, but ended the year with a price hike of 29.3%. Benicar 20 mg went up to $88.80 which is the biggest jump in price of all the top selling drugs. Last year, Benicar accounted for $8.4 billion in US sales. Greg Barrett, the vice president of Sankyo’s marketing, says that the rise in prices is solely due to competitive purposes. Competitors of Benicar include Diovan, Cozaar, and more angiotensin receptor blockers.

The average cost of prescription drugs has gone up nearly 7 percent. Popular drugs such as Gleevac went up 20.9%, Lipitor went up 12.4%, and Plavix hiked up 13.2%. These drugs are now competing with generic drugs which are much cheaper. Generic drugs are almost exactly the same as the brand. The generic version of a drug has the same active ingredient, effects, dosage, risks, side effects, and strength as the brand; the only difference is price and look. Atorvastatin is the generic of Lipitor and will be sold for less when the patent for Lipitor expires. A Lipitor 10mg with 30 tablets prescription could cost around $40 when the generic Atorvastatin 10 mgoffers 100 tablets for approximately the same price.

Another way patients can save money is to buy prescription drugs online. Drugs from Canada are 35-55% cheaper than from local US pharmacies. With drug prices rising and private health plans becoming more expensive, many Americans will be forced to find other alternatives. Generic medications and online pharmacies will be great options for more affordable medications.

August 11, 2009

Extreme Background Check’s For Doctor’s Needed?

Maybe we should be doing some extreme background check’s on our Doctors soon. By extreme I mean look at a criminal record, talk to the family, and even speak with some of the neighbors the child grew up around. This probably shouldn’t be necessary, especially for a person that has gone through 10+ years of post-secondary schooling, and spent thousands of dollars on their education, only to help people. However, a doctor in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, might have made this necessary.

Edmonton doctor Javier Castillo Cortes, is being charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference, two counts of exposure to a person under the age of 16, and one each of the following: invitation to sexual touching, indecent act, forcible confinement, and assault. All the alleged events were said to have taken place between July 2008-July 2009.

This has deeply troubled me to know that even with doctors we might not be safe, our children might not be safe. How can we have faith in those that are going to take care of us if things like this happen? Something has to be done about this, and Cortes needs to be made an example of by the Canadian Justice System. Targeting children is just plain sick and this man, if he can even be called this, needs to be shown that trying to prey on children is unacceptable and one of the most disgusting things someone can do.

This event has however shaken my faith in those I trust. This coupled with the ongoing debates over healthcare reform have continued to just rock the boat. Whether I support a reform or not doesn’t really matter in this article, but if this reform does happen, we might need some protection added to the hospitals.

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