JWG (jwg) wrote,

Prescription Drug cost absurdities

There are an awful lot of things wrong with the medical care system in the US, some of which may be repaired by Congress this year. One of the oddest things is the variation of prices for drugs. In the AARP magazine they published the following data for the purchase of 30 days of 80 mg Simvastatin (an anti-cholesterol drug - a pretty high dose at that) somewhere in CA:

$7.71 at Costco
$24.36 at WalMart
$63.59 at CVS
$89.99 at Walgreens

Also $145-$213 for Zocor - same drug - but since the patent ran out several years ago it is available in generic form.

What other kind of products are there with such price variability? The Walgreens price was almost 12 times the Costco price.

To add to this mess there are several other "statins" that are not available in Generic form and some are even more expensive. There is little clinical evidence that any one is better than another or that any have more or fewer possible side-effects although for some people it may well make a difference.

What people or their insurance pay is a whole other piece of confusion to this can of worms.
Tags: politics, science

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