Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Generic Prescription Drug Prices

A friend of mine sent me this link. It's about a year old but it exposed yet another scandal that the administration keeps quiet. I certainly hope some media outlet in CT does a likewise investigation on generic drug markups.

What do generic drugs have to do with education? Plenty. Many CT families are hard hit by drug prices. This story exposes the practice.

Secondly, although as a Board of Ed member I can't always save as much on budget items as we hope to there's no reason you can't save money otherwise.

"...evidence that drug stores far and wide have been quietly pocketing the lion’s share of the savings when you buy generic drugs to save money over the high-priced brand names. Now, Steve has the results of an expanded investigation into the facts your druggist has been keeping secret.

These so-called "generic" drugs are just as safe and effective as the advertised brands, but they cost less. That’s because about 10 years after a new drug goes on the market, its patent expires and other drugmakers can simply copy it for pennies on the dollar. But here’s the problem: you buy the generics to save money, only in most cases, your druggist is pocketing most of the savings.

Let’s take the generic version of the popular anti-depressant Prozac. It’s called Fluoxetine and when we broke this story 18 months ago, some drugstores were selling a one-month supply for as high as $92, yet customers were happy to be saving $30 or so over what they’d have to pay for the brand-name Prozac—happy until Action News was first to expose what that $92 generic prescription actually cost the druggists.

Wilson to Gregory Papp/Heritage Sav-Mor Drugs: When I look at Fluoxetine...

Papp: That’s a toughie.

Wilson: ...the generic version of Prozac...

Papp: That’s a toughie.

Wilson: It’s a toughie because you pay $2.16 and you sell it for $92 dollars!

Papp: Yeah. "


and...

"WHERE IS THE BEST PRICE?
Meanwhile, who remains the undisputed champ in generic drug pricing? It’s still Costco, the warehouse store where you don’t need to be a member to get your prescriptions filled at rock-bottom prices."


This may have changed (and this story originates from Detroit) but it's certainly worth your while to check.

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