Price gouging by big Pharma
Onexton is an acne cream manufactured by Valeant. It is a mix of two well known treatments for acne - clindamycin phosphate and benzoyl peroxide. Both these products are available as generics at low cost ($10-$15 each). However the combination has a price of $478 per tube. If you went to your local pharmacy they would (if they were competent and unbiased) suggest you buy the two generics. You can buy the generics and mix them yourself. However if you go to the captive specialty pharmacy you will be sold the expensive drug (and the cost will largely be borne by your insurance company).
Valeant charges over $300,000 a year to cure Wilson's disease. If a person does not get their Wilson disease medication, Syprine, acquired by Valeant, they die a slow and painful death. This drug has been available for 50 years and costs just $100 in Europe, but costs $300,000 per year in the US.
asof date: 2015-10-30
Solodyn is a prescription strength acne cream. It is a branded generic of Minocycline. Minocycline is made in 50 and 100 mg strengths by several manufacturers and sold to the pharmacies for less than 50 cents per capsule. Solodyn on the other hand is made in strengths of 55 mg and 115 mg, sells for $33.15 per capsule. So if a doctor prescribes Solodyne, the generic form can not be dispensed because of the difference in strengths.
Medline is the standard search tool for finding medical academic papers.
How I came across it:
It was Mentioned in pg-89 of "Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks" by Ben Goldacre.
buying prescription drugs
- According to http://www.mymoneyblog.com/costco-pharmacy-savings.html Costco Pharmacy is the best place to buy prescription drugs.
A specialty pharmacy is a pharmacy (usually but not necessarily) tied to a manufacturer which specialised in distributing classes of branded drugs. They are usually mail-order operations and operate over State lines. To operate they usually require a license in every State which they service.
By law, a specialty pharmacy must not waive copays for Medicare, Medicaid or other government pharmaceutical insurance schemes.
Articles advocating competition to reduce drug prices
- A Cure for Swelling Drug Prices: Competition authored by Grep IP on WSJ