June 2, 2015

The Truth About ASOP Claims

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A project known as the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) was initiated to offer protection to American consumers against the risks associated with online drug purchasing. However, ASOP give Americans information that favors their funders all under the umbrella of protecting Americans.

The truth is that Big Pharma is the founder of ASOP. The fact that Big Pharma is among the most profitable organizations in the world mean they are willing to do everything in their power to maintain that position including using scare tactics.

It is true that some online pharmacies are rogue and getting rid of them requires collective efforts. However, ASOP gives the impression that any online pharmacy that is not owned by Americans is rogue and is out to harm Americans which is not the case. They employ distorted “statistical analysis” in scaring people from purchasing drugs from online pharmacies. Therefore, they make folks believe that the only way of buying safe medications is by choosing American online pharmacies.

There is evidence to prove otherwise and this is in form of many harmless and valid online pharmacies in Canada that have supplied Americans with safe medicine for years. We can attest to this fact because we know many patients who have relied on these pharmacies for their different ailments for years and have never experienced any harmful health effects.

FaegreBD which is a big lobbying firm in Washington DC is responsible for running ASOP. They have many clients both past and present and some of them include Baxter Healthcare, the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA), Eli Lilly and Orexigen among others. These are “big clients” with a lot of influence capable of swaying decisions in their favor. For example, PSDA consists of over 25 stakeholders all found in the pharmaceutical distribution supply.

Big Pharma receives support from NABP, ASOP and so on and claim to care about the big number of people (100,000-700,000) who succumb to illness from counterfeit drugs purchased online yearly. ASOP adds that they are committed to protecting patients globally from the harmful effects of counterfeit drugs in order to provide patients with safe and approved medicine which they can access through the legitimate pharmacies. They go on to say this is their top priority.

Though this may seem fair, our concern is that, “Why don’t they apply the same rage when there are folks harmed by pharmacies approved by VIPPS? This mostly happens through dispensing errors committed and this end up harming American patients. They don’t seem to use the same cry for safety in these cases when those they claim to be their members approve and encourage the production and distribution of medications for unapproved purposes.

Safety of medications is an important issue and should resonate throughout the entire pharmaceutical supply chain. This priority should never be substituted for a greater “hunger” for more profits. We do not dispute the claims made by ASOP but they should be unwavering in their pursuit of ensuring the safety of American patients regardless of who is invlved.

 

 

October 30, 2013

Block Buster Delays: Why Prescription Drugs Can Cost so Much

Filed under: drug costs,drugs — Tags: , — @ 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.

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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