Ben Oostdam story # 209

MARKUP OF DRUG COSTS

----- Original Message ----- 
From: jerome gates 
To: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:14 PM
Subject:  Fw: Costco.  Read This Whole Article - Especially the End]
I checked snopes.com and they said that this is true!    

       Today, WalMart announced it is starting a new policy in Tampa where
all generic drugs will be sold for $4.00 per prescription.
COSTCO! read this...
       Let's hear it for Costco!! (This is just mind-boggling!)
       Make sure you read all the way past the list of the drugs.
       The woman that signed below is a Budget Analyst out of federal 
Washington, DC offices.
       Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active
ingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must cost a
lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. 
We did a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active
ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA.
       As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension, a significant
 percentage of drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients
 made in other countries.
      In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companiesreally make,
 we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs
sold in America
       The data below speaks for itself.

[NOTE by BLO: For the sake of saving space, I put the data in tabular form;
the only "error" was for Norvasc where the author's consumer price was "lost"
and could not be reconstructed to yield a logical cost;
graphical representation proved difficult and was abandoned]


      Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought
everyone should know about this. Please read the following and pass it on.
      It pays to shop around. This helps to solve the mystery as to why they can
afford to put a Walgreen's on every corner. On Monday night, Steve Wilson, an
investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit , did a story on
generic drug price gouging by pharmacies.
       He found in his investigation that some of these generic drugs were marked up
 as much as 3,000% or more.
       Yes, that's not a typo.....three thousand percent!
       So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and usually rightfully so.
 But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves.
       For example, if you had to buy a prescription drug, and bought the name brand,
you might pay $100 for 100 pills. The pharmacist might tell you that if you
get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you think you
are &q! uot;saving" $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that
those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!
       At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson
whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this
practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their
cost for the generic drugs.
       I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get
its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the
online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own
experience, I had to use the drug, Compazine, which helps prevent nausea in
chemo patients.
     I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at
CVS. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for
$19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at
Costco for $28.08. 
    I would like to mention, that although Costco is a "membership"
type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it
is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you
wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in. (this is true)
       I went there this past Thursday and asked them. I am asking each of
you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your own
e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.

       Sharon L. Davis
       Budget Analyst
       U.S Department of Commerce
       Room 6839
       Office Ph: 202-482-4458
       Office Fax: 202-482-5480
       E-mail Address: sdavis@doc.gov
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BLO copied this and provided table, 20061031 - stories