The Family Council on Drug Awareness
"Responsible decisions based on accurate information."
Drugstore Robbery: Drug companies gouge the sick
On July 22, 2003, 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!
BIG RIP-OFF: The Cost of Prescription Drugs*
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 shocking, but it is not the entire picture. Pharmaceutical companies have to cover the large research and development costs of creating the drugs, as well as the overhead costs of manufacturing, marketing, and shipping them; retail pharmacies have to cover the overhead costs of store operations (including the salaries of pharmacists); and both groups have to make a profit from their sales. The question is where does the intersection of morality and profits meet?
Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application, March 2000, Vol. 19, No.3.
"These data . . . provide preliminary evidence that self-described nondeviant, physically and psychologically healthy adults can use alcohol and illicit psychoactive drugs in a safe and controlled manner.. . . Policies, laws, education and treatment approaches that treat all drug consumption as unhealthy, and thus drug abuse, appear to be inherently flawed in their conceptual design."
Note that the Survey finds very slight use of 'hard drugs' like cocaine, heroin and crack. The numbers for heroin are so small that frequent users (defined as 51 or more times per year) are not even tracked by the national survey.
** Not currently tracked by survey
1. "Smoking-Attributable Mortality and Years of Potential Life Lost," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, 1997), May 23, 1997, Vol. 46, No. 20, p. 449.
2. "Number of deaths and age-adjusted death rates per 100,000 population for categories of alcohol-related (A-R) mortality, United States and States, 1979-96," National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, from the web at http://silk.nih.gov/silk/niaaa1/database/armort01.txt , last accessed Feb. 12, 2001, citing Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System, Saadatmand, F, Stinson, FS, Grant, BF, and Dufour, MC, "Surveillance Report #52: Liver Cirrhosis Mortality in the United States, 1970-96" (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, December 1999).
3. Lazarou, J, Pomeranz, BH, Corey, PN, "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies," Journal of the American Medical Association (Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 1998), 1998;279:1200-1205, also letters column, "Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients,", JAMA (Chicago, IL: AMA, 1998), Nov. 25, 1998, Vol. 280, No. 20, from the web at http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v280n20/full/jlt1125-1.html , last accessed Feb. 12, 2001.
4. Murphy, Sheila L., "Deaths: Final Data for 1998,"National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 11 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, July 24, 2000), Table 10, p. 53.
5. Murphy, Sheila L., "Deaths: Final Data for 1998,"National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 11 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, July 24, 2000), Table 10, p. 53.
6. Murphy, Sheila L., "Deaths: Final Data for 1998,"National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 11 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, July 24, 2000), pp. 1, 10.
7. Robyn Tamblyn, PhD; Laeora Berkson, MD, MHPE, FRCPC; W. Dale Dauphinee, MD, FRCPC; David Gayton, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Roland Grad, MD, MSc; Allen Huang, MD, FRCPC; Lisa Isaac, PhD; Peter McLeod, MD, FRCPC; and Linda Snell, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, "Unnecessary Prescribing of NSAIDs and the Management of NSAID-Related Gastropathy in Medical Practice," Annals of Internal Medicine (Washington, DC: American College of Physicians, 1997), September 15, 1997, 127:429-438, from the web at http://www.acponline.org/journals/annals/15sep97/nsaid.htm , last accessed Feb. 14, 2001, citing Fries, JF, "Assessing and understanding patient risk," Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology Supplement, 1992;92:21-4.
8. Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), available on the web at http://www.samhsa.gov/ ; also see Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999, available on the web at http://www.nap.edu/html/marimed/ ; and US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition" (Docket #86-22), September 6, 1988, p. 57.
Statistics compiled by Common Sense for Drug Policy, * www.csdp.org, Washington, DC * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Content (c) 2000-2004. Family Council on Drug Awareness (FCDA), El Cerrito CA