X-Message-Number: 23825
From: "Paul Pagnato" <>
Subject:  Drug costs--very interesting
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 11:30:44 -0700

  This is very interesting.  The drug companies have been vilified for 
  over-charging for their medications and trying to explain that R&D and the 
  years waiting for FDA approval have added to the cost of the drugs.  Now read 
  this and see where the real costs are added.  Hmmm.  

      Please read this, it's very informative. 

      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 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.  This is based on 100 pills. 


      Celebrex    100 mg          $130.27             $0.60         21,712% 

      Claritin       10 mg             $215.17            $0.71         30,306%

      Keflex       250 mg            $157.39            $1.88            8,372%

      Lipitor        20 mg             $272.37            $5.80            

      Norvasc      10 mg           $188.29             $0.14        134,493% 

      Paxil            20 mg            $220.27            $7.60             

      Prevacid      30 mg          $44.77               $1.01           34,136%

      Prilosec       20 mg        $360.97               $0.52           69,417%
      Prozac        20 mg         $247.47               $0.11         224,973% 

      Tenormin     50 mg       $104.47               $0.13           80,362% 

      Vasotec      10 mg         $102.37               $0.20           51,185% 

      Xanax          1mg           $136.79              $0.024         569,958%

      Zestril       20 mg             $89.89              $3.20                

      Zithromax   600mg    $1,482.19           $18.78                7,892% 

      Zocor          40mg          $350.27              $8.63               

      Zoloft         50mg           $206.87               $1.75            

      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 Walgreens 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. 

      I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and 
      pasting it into your own email, and send it to everyone you know with an 
      email address.

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