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#1 fahrquad

fahrquad

    All I know is that I know nothing.

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:28 PM

The wife and I picked up our drugs (prescription, not recreational) while we were out for diner earlier.  We are fortunate to have decent coverage through her government employer although some of the price differences were shocking.  On the low end of the spectrum, my Simvastatin (generic Zocor, an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure) was $4.00 retail and $0.00 my cost.  On the high end of the spectrum, my Xifaxin 550mg (for Hepatic Encephalopathy) was $2,793.99 retail and $40.00 my cost.  My Jardiance 25mg (for diabetes) was $593.99 retail and $40.00 my cost.  My wife's Lumigan and Combigan eye drops (for high intra-ocular pressure) were both $40.00 our cost although I don't know the retail prices off-hand.

 

What I find particularly galling is the blatant price gouging the drug companies have been able to get away without being prosecuted by the appropriate government agencies (i.e. FDA, VA, DHHS, Department of Consumer Affairs, etc...).   I recall about 20 years ago getting a prescription filled for the wife in the Bahamas (Eleuthera) for $3.00 cash for a prescription that cost $20.00 after insurance in the US.  The doctor bill was about $20.00 without insurance.  There is some slight validity to the argument that the cost of prescription drugs offsets the cost of research, but a lot of the mainstay money-makers have been on the market for 25+ years and have been nothing but pure profit for a decade or two.

 

An example of obscene pricing is the familiar drug Lipitor.  As stated below, the wholesale cost per month is $3.80 US while the consumer may pay anywhere from $0.00 to $30.00 depending on retailer and/or insurance.

 Atorvastatin was patented in 1986 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1996.[1][2] It is available as a generic medication.[1] In the United States, the wholesale cost per month is about 3.80 USD as of 2018.[3] In the United Kingdom, it costs the NHS about £0.70 per month as of 2018.[4] In 2016, it was the 3rd most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 96 million prescriptions.[5]   

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Atorvastatin

 



#2 fahrquad

fahrquad

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:49 PM

If an average retail price for Lipitor is assumed at $8.00 per month per person and there are 96 million prescriptions written, then net profits are $460,800,000 a year ($8.00 retail - $3.80 wholesale = $4.20 profit x 96,000,000 = $460,800,000).

 

From the link above:

From 1996 to 2012 under the trade name Lipitor, atorvastatin became the world's best-selling medication of all time, with more than $125 billion in sales over approximately 14.5 years.



#3 fahrquad

fahrquad

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 06:39 PM

I have been seeing commercials advertising Lasik eye surgery for as little as $199 per eye and I have been trying to catch the contact info the next time it airs.  In the meantime, the wife got a postcard today from Eyemed advertising "up to $800 off Lasik at LasikPlus Vision Centers".  It goes on to state in the fine print that "Savings based on a standard price of $2099 per eye", so the price for two eyes is $3398 ($2099 x 2 eyes = $4198 - $800 = $3398).  The final price varies depending on the number of eyes you have, so a cyclops would pay $1299 while a spider would pay $15,992.  Expensive, but on the other hand can you imagine the complexity of making a pair of 8 lens glasses? 

 

Spider-Eyes.jpg