Pharmacy Rip-Off

Try Costco!
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 
 How much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in prescription medications.
According to Sharon L. Davis, Budget Analyst, “…out of federal Washington, DC offices…some people think it must cost a lot, 
since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet…”  Research ”…of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active 
ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA 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 companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs 
sold in America.”  
The following data, presented by Davis, 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  mg Consumer price (100 tablets) $272.37                  Cost of general active ingredients:    $5.80               Percent markup: 4,696%  

Norvasc:    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% 
 
Davis’s letter went on to say, “…that since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, everyone should know about this.  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 '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…” 
Davis continued by asking everyone to make a difference by getting this information into the public mainstream.  
It stands to reason that if each of us makes an effort for change, the results could lead to a chain reaction – 
Davis, “…But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves.”  So, let us make the effort to buy our medications at Costco, or a pharmacy equivalent to 
Costco prices.  And yes, even those on Medicare and Medicaid if it is at all possible.  We have been shown the main source of the problem, so now let’s step up to 
the plate, make a team effort, and make “them” earn their money!  E-mail this and/or Make copies and Pass it to family and community!  
 
The above information was included in a letter written by 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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