Prescription Drug Pricing info
Aug 17, 2004
Is this for real?
Date: Sun, Apr 11 2004 08:16:33 -0500
The women that signed below are Budget Analysts 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
In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs sold in America.
The chart below speaks for itself.
Celebrex 100 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60
Percent markup: 21,712%
Claritin 10 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71
Percent markup: 30,306%
Keflex 250 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88
Percent markup: 8,372%
Lipitor 20 m g
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80
Percent markup: 4,696%
Norvasec 10 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14
Percent markup: 134,493%
Paxil 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60
Percent markup: 2,898%
Prevacid 30 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01
Percent markup: 34,136%
Prilosec 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
Cost of general active ingredients $0.52
Percent markup: 69,417%
Prozac 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11
Percent markup: 224,973%
Tenormin 50 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13
Percent markup: 80,362%
Vasotec 10 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20
Percent markup: 51,185%
Xanax 1 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024
Percent markup: 569,958%
Zestril 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89
Cost of general active ingredients $3.20
Percent markup: 2,809%
Zithromax 600 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78
Percent markup: 7,892%
Zocor 40 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63
Percent markup: 4,059%
Zoloft 50 mg
Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75
Percent markup: 11,821%
Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought everyone I knew 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!
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 am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your own email, and send it to everyone you know with an email address.
Sharon L. Davis
U.S. Department of Commerce
Office Ph: 202-482-4458
Office Fax: 202-482-5480
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Office of Budget & Finance
Voice: (202) 606-9295
Fax: (202) 606-5324
Category: ; Replies: 14
Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 | 12:31 PM
Take a gander at this. These tow women have nothing to do with this. A woman who has cancer started this chain e-mail. The prices listed in this are, as far as anyone can tell, made up. They may be close to the truth, but this chart doesn't factor in the cost of research, development, advertising, packaging, etc.
Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 | 03:29 PM
No, it's fake. The phone number for Sharon L. Davis, (202) 482-4458, is really for Oleta Finch, Secretary to the Director of the OFFICE OF EXECUTIVE BUDGETING (U.S. Gov). However, the OFFICE OF EXECUTIVE BUDGETING has nothing to do with prescription drugs. This is a rip-off of a real news report from a TV station in Detroit. The phone number for Mary Palmer is probably fake (it's disconnected) although the 202 area code and the 606 exchange are actually correct for the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 | 10:21 AM
You may want to check ALL your facts before listing this as false! The content is true! Only the listed sender (Sharon Davis) is not correct. Steve Wilson of the WXYZ-TV news did in fact do theis report, and you can check out the results on these websites:
Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 | 12:22 PM
Whoever wrote this is completely false. To begin, these cash prices are not applicable to 90% of the population here in the US. We all have some type of insurance plan which regulates AWP costs etc... These prices are for customers without insurancewhich is RARE. I agree with GA also when he/she discusses research etc... These pharmacists, scientist, chemists, all get together to make sure we do not have fatal, or any type of harmful reaction from these substances. Time is money. And of all things to complain about. The drugs that save the lives of millions of people everyday. ALso, chain pharmacies like Walgreens,CVS,... have competitive prices and will accept another chains selling price to gain you as a customer. Ask any chain pharmacy. They do not make their money off of prescriptions. The pharmacy is what lures them in and then they buy a ton of stuff from the regular part of the store. Everything is marked up majorly. Our electricians get 80 dollars per hour of labor plus cost of parts that are usually marked up. A business succeeds from profit. WHoever started this chain letter about these drugs needs to go to college to learn basics.
in Barrington Hills, IL
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 | 01:21 AM
Anyone REPORT this e-fake as PHISHING to their server besides me? I had just had my computer clened of all those LOGS when I got the Anti-Costco letter Forwarded to me; DANG!
Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 | 10:43 AM
The letter part of the email may be a hoax but Snopes reports the information IS CORRECT
Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 | 07:00 PM
To MC in NY: I do not know in what world/reality you are living, but a LOT of Americans do NOT have insurance. You say, "It is [RARE] for Americans not to have insurance." Get with the real world, MC. Americans are being financially raped and poisoned by the big U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Unfortunately, as with all drugs, including the lowly aspirin, there are a myriad of side-effects. There is not a single drug on the market that has no side-effects and almost all have multiple side-effects. Additionally, Western medicine is designed to treat symptoms, rather than treat the cause of the underlying problem. The Western medical establishment, and pharmaceutical industry in particular, profits from illness and has no incentive for patients to receive proactive care or treatment. With that being said, there are often many holistic, homeopathic or ayurvedic treatments for many of society's ailments. This is the thorn in the side of the big pharmaceutical corporations, such as Pfizer, Merck and others. They are working hard to have herbal and other supplements regulated by the paid-off FDA. The big pharma companies spend billions per year in FDA fees and enforcement activities to protect their investments and to prevent others from cutting into their market share--this is why they are so determined to regulate herbal supplements or even have them banned from the marketplace altogether. The other problem is the absurd scare tactics used by the FDA, FBI and the big pharma companies. What they fail to tell uneducated Americans is that companies like Cipla, Ranbaxy and Dr. Reddys have FDA-approved facilities both in the U.S. and in India. Furthermore, these companies supply a vast amount of American drugs, both generic and brand name. These drugs are not "counterfeit," but they may be "misbranded," under certain conditions. Think about it--India is a country with 1 billion people--more than three times the U.S. population. Do you think a multi-billion dollar company like Cipla would compromise its quality or even exist if their drugs were of inferior quality? This company thrives because of stringent quality control which produces superior products that surpass even those of Pfizer's or Merck's.
To the FDA AND FBI: your futile scare tactics will not prevent Americans from getting low-cost, HIGHER quality drugs offshore.
AMERICA: GET EDUCATED ABOUT YOUR OWN HEALTH AND TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OWN LIFE!
Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 | 07:09 PM
David, are you kidding me? You tout the credentials of some Indian company while denigrating US establishments as if the language of business didn't apply in other countries. It may not be as big as Merck, Pfizer, et al, but you can guarantee their goal is to make a buck or rupee just as much as the next guy. Do you think they'd use every allowance to make their product cheaper. Of course they would, skirting just above the line of demarkation. As for side-effects, if you think herbal/homeopathic treatments are without side effects, you are just as fooled as you think everyone else is. What makes you think St. Johns Wort, Echinacea or any other herbal remedy would not have an effect on homeostasis. Someone needs a little more education on the equine species if they plan on climbing on the tall horses.
Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 | 09:10 AM
To pdi: I'm sorry you think that "phishing" is the same as spam. Phishing is the act of sending e-mail (or making phone calls, etc.) to extract personally identifiable information from someone, such as SSN, DOB, etc. If your ISP (not your server), never responded, this is most likely why.
As for the cost of research, etc. I live in Madison, WI. A great deal of pharmocological reasearch is done here. We have the patents on stem-cell research and a host of other bio-engineering/research methodologies. While working at the UW, I was told by a research fellow that the cost of 75% of all "research" done by companies such as Pfizer, Abbott, etc. is borne by universities. In other words, the cost to them is minimal. Licensing of the technologies and their results may make up for some of the cost involved with prescription costs, however.
Then there is the issue of side-effects. I don't recall which drugs, but several have quite scary side effects these days... including sudden death. Dangerous world we live in. I suppose to be fair, the homeopathics came to their knowledge through similar trials with similar consequences. However, 10 years of welbutrin only treated my symptoms, it took 1 year of natPhos to rid me of depression.... you do the math.
One reason for the outrageous prices associated with prescriptions: Gimmes. My fiancee was married 35 years to a psychiatrist. She told me about all the conferences they attended, a lot of which were paid for by the pharmaceutical companies (all expenses paid), and there were extravagant freebies given to the attendees to buy their approval (and commitment to prescribing) of their expensive drugs.
As for the 90% insurance issue: MC, PLEASE... get real!! I'm educated, a professional in my field, and uninsured. Can't afford it. Why? Think this through... pills cost upward of $1 to $10 a piece. Your insurance company has to cover a lot of that. The premiums go up....
Never in all my days have I seen 2 industries that have such powerful lobbies as the insurance and pharmaceuticals. MANDATED insurance in most states, just to drive. The government just insured the insurance companies success.
Well, before I climb too high on my soapbox (I dislike tall horses), I'll let this go. I'd like to say, however, in closing, that it takes a fool only once to be fooled, but it takes a true idiot to be informed and still do foolish things.
Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 | 10:46 AM
Since entering my e-letter, I have learned to NOT post notes late at night when my brain isn't totally functioning. Thank you for correcting my phishing to spam. Meanwhile, I totally agree with you and am getting fed up with our government giving everything away to the lobbyists and Corps. Term limits are needed. Real jobs, without pensions and insurance, might make our legislatures think about us for a change. Sure would save citizens a whale of alot of tax money!pdi
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 | 06:03 AM
Josephi, if you are an educated professional, why the hell do you not have insurance? WHat type of job do you have? Even part time workers at starbucks are offered a simple insurance plan. And for those who cannot afford it, then there is always your state funded insurance. As for the cost of pills, the insurance does not have to pay for alot of that. Yes when you would pay for a prescription it would cost you cash a fortune for pills but the insurance company has a discounted rate. They tell the pharmacy what they will reimburse at and we can decide either to accept the insurance or not. Go ask retail pharmacies. The money is made from the purchase of front store items. The pharmacy is used to bring people in. Some pharmacies do have a high cash rate of sales but for the most part, insurance companies have the pharmacy by the ****. And the whole drug company thing with all expenses paid? It is not the only place. I pay tuition for college and that includes having speakers come with their air and hotel paid and food plus a fee to actually speak. The makeup artist who came to my house to do my makeup for a wedding. $125. That is the going rate. The mechanic shops who charge labor $80+ an hour.
in Los Angeles
Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 | 11:49 AM
While the sender's info might be made up, Costco is MUCH less than CVS. For instance, Clindomycin 150mg qty 50 $61 at CVS. The same thing at Costco is $17. My thyroid meds are so cheap at Costco, they are less than my insurance copay... so I pay cash! At CVS my thyroid meds are so expensive off of insurance. So many people don't have insurance and Costco is invaluable. Who's the idiot who said pharmacies don't make a profit from medication? CVS sure does. Just call for prices yourself. It's no secret.
in United States
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 | 11:29 AM
Truly homeopathic preparations have NO side-effects. Regretably, they have no effects period.
in Columbus, OH
Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 | 12:31 PM
I cannot vouch for the accuracies of the numbers but pharmaceutical costs are not well controlled. Lengthy patents (13-15 years) prohibits other companies from making generics quickly and driving down prices. Also, Insurance doesn't help cut cost, they simply pay for the overpriced meds. This is hurting companies who need to provide their employers with Health Insurance. These overprice drugs increase the cost of Insurance to your employer, which in turn increases cost to you. Whether this email is 100% true or not, I am not sure, but over priced pharmaceuticals is a real issue affect health care and our economy.
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