Drug costs

02 Nov: Healthcare amendment would delay access to “generic” versions of drugs

Healthcare reform isn’t just about the public option and paying for doctor’s visits — it’s also about equal, affordable access to life-saving medications for all Americans. That’s why many Big Pharma watchdogs are so disappointed with a recent amendment slipped into healthcare legislation that proposes extending patent protection on biologic drugs, delaying for years the public’s access to affordable follow-on versions. What are biologics? They’re the next big wave in medicine — drugs made not from simple chemical formulations, but from biological components. They’re very expensive, and poised for enormous success: By 2014, the biggest-selling meds will be biologics, according to an analysis from Evaluate Pharma. Taking the place of Pfizer’s gargantuan drug Lipitor will be Roche’s Avastin, a cancer…

23 Jun: Q&A: Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009

We’ve received a lot of questions from the eDrugSearch.com community about the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009, the proposed legislation that would enable Americans, once and for all, to legally purchase prescription drugs from Canada. Here some common questions about the bill, along with answers provided by the bill’s sponsors: Q: Why is this bill necessary? A: American consumers are charged the highest prices in the world for the same medicines that are available in other major, industrialized nations at a fraction of the cost. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this legislation will save U.S. consumers more than $50 billion over the next decade. The legislation will allow American consumers to import FDA-approved prescription drugs at…

23 Jun: eDrugSearch.com’s “99 Ways to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs”

The eDrugSearch.com e-book “99 Ways to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs, 2012 Edition” is now available on Scribd, where you can see a preview of the book’s first 4 pages before purchasing. Check it out and start saving on your prescription drugs now! eDrugSearch.com’s 99 Ways to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs 2012 Edition

18 Jun: Prescription for pharma: More research, less promotion

Anne Dunev at The Huffington Post recently called attention to a thought-provoking article published at the peer-reviewed journal of the Public Library of Science. Titled “The Cost of Pushing Pills: A New Estimate of Pharmaceutical Promotion Expenditures in the United States,” the 2008 article by Canadian academics Marc-André Gagnon and Joel Lexchin concludes: From this new estimate, it appears that pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on promotion as they do on R&D. These numbers clearly show how promotion predominates over R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, contrary to the industry’s claim … (I)t confirms the public image of a marketing-driven industry and provides an important argument to petition in favor of transforming the workings of the industry in the direction…

15 Jun: Want your share of the billions Big Pharma has stolen from you? GLWT

You probably didn’t see it in the news — since it got about 1/1000th of the coverage received by Sarah Palin spatting with David Letterman and Spencer and Heidi quitting “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here” — but a noteworthy legal settlement occurred last week. A major drug wholesaler, McKesson Corp., and two drug-price publishers have settled a class-action lawsuit accusing them of inflating drug prices. Here’s an explanation of what they did, according to the suit: “Prescription drugs often are priced using certain benchmarks. The most common pricing benchmark is called the Average Wholesale Price (“AWP”). AWP is often used in determining how much insurance companies and other Third-Party Payors will reimburse for these prescription drugs…

17 Feb: Americans spend more on healthcare than education and entertainment.

Scientific American has published an article examining the problem of high prescription drug costs as well as proposed solutions. Some salient stats referenced in the article: American households annually spend more money on health care than on education and entertainment combined. American households spend more than $200 billion on prescription drugs each year. 45 million Americans, including eight million children, do not have health insurance. Free drug samples are generally given to those who already have health insurance — not to those who need them most. 41 percent of Americans report at least some difficulty in paying drug bills. 30 percent of Americans reported that they did not fill prescriptions because of the cost. Here are a couple of the…

21 Jan: If drug benefits for seniors are this bad in Massachusetts…

If the current economy weren’t bad enough for seniors on fixed incomes, now the state of Massachusetts (as a result of the recession) has slashed a state program that assisted seniors with drug costs. Boston.com reports: Tens of thousands of Bay State seniors are facing steep increases in the cost of their prescription drug copayments, the result of an $11 million cut in a state-funded program that, until Jan. 1, helped to defray their pharmacy costs. More than 44,000 senior citizens are affected by the cuts in the Prescription Advantage program, with many seeing their copayments double or triple, officials said. As a result, some seniors are simply leaving their prescriptions on the pharmacy counter, rather than pay a price…

20 Jan: Can chain drugstores help North Dakota’s prescription drug prices?

A North Dakota news site reports that drug prices are under the microscope in the state as legislators consider repealing a law that prevents most chain pharmacies from competing there. The law requires pharmacies to be majority-owned by North Dakota licensed pharmacists. Supporters of repeal argue that allowing the big retailers to offer prescription drugs will encourage price competition and result in lower costs for consumers. To test this, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead “took the five most common prescription drugs in North Dakota and compared their prices at four area pharmacies — two in North Dakota and two in Minnesota.” The results showed that North Dakotans weren’t paying more for these drugs than Minnesotans, after all. However, there was something…

19 Jan: A pharmacist’s 10 tips for saving on your prescriptions

[The following is a guest post by our friend Dr. Jacob Milbradt, a Kansas pharmacist. Jacob graduated with distinction from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy and currently works as a pharmacist in an independently-owned pharmacy in south central Kansas. He is founder and president of MrMedSaver.com, an Internet-based consulting firm that specializes in helping people save on their prescriptions.] These days, we’d all like to save as much money as possible on just about anything. However, I encounter numerous people every day who spend way too much money on their prescriptions. It’s a common misconception that prescription drug therapy is simply expensive, and there’s nothing you can do about it. With a little effort, though, you can easily…