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Avatar universal

Let's hear it for Costco!

my dear pharmacist friends... how big is your bonus? Please note that this story has been verified by Snopes.com @ http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/generic.asp  

Make sure you read to the end. You will be amazed.

Let's hear it for Costco! (This is just mind-boggling!)

Make sure you read all the way past the list of the drugs. The woman that signed below is a Budget  Analyst out of federal Washington, DC offices.

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 .  

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%
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Zoloft:50 mg
Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75
Percent markup: 11,821%

Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought 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 prices gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. 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 passing it into your own e-mail, and  
send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.

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:***@****

11 Responses
92903 tn?1309908311
You're spot on with that one Rocker! The other day I priced the 120 pack of X-Large condoms at CVS and they were over 60 bucks! At Costco only $19.99, so I could afford two packs. Plus the CVS ones are a bit snug. Not so at Costco, where you really do get more for less.
233616 tn?1312790796
this would be funny but I'm not laughing...those numbers are hard to swallow....

of course the costco condom discount won't work for midgets I guess...sigh...
I guess that let's me out....
Avatar universal
shortage in organs for donation -- the U.S. waiting list for kidneys has more than 80,000 names on it -- has led to a huge demand for cheap black market organs. The so-called "kidney mafia" includes doctors performing illegal transplants, organ hunters searching for donors, and middleman brokers such as Rosenbaum who match recipients with doctors and donors.


Avatar universal
Kidneys at Costco.  Who would have thunk it?  They really are a full service store.
656703 tn?1224540203
While  I hear what you're saying, there is another side. The amount of money spent on just me is astronomical. The drugs that have been provided for my TX at NO COST to me cost a pile of R&D, clinical studies, etc;  I want Phars to make tons of money so they can continue the high cost of Research, clinical trials, and associated liabilities.
Avatar universal
Their is usually 2 sides too every story and yes ,we need do need certain pharma drugs ,but corruption is everywhere,even in the health food business,but not on a  big scale.Some multivitamins brands are even dangerous with hih levels of compounds and fillers
Avatar universal
Scientists have found that a "café-style" diet of fatty, sugary food results in compulsive overeating among rats and causes neuro-chemical changes to the brain that mimic the sort of alterations in the human brain brought about by addiction to heroin and cocaine............


233616 tn?1312790796
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and remind everyone that the cost of the active ingredient of a medication hardly tells the tale of cost.

cost is a factor of millions of dollars of research, hundreds of millions per drug that gets approved that must take place before a drug reaches market. Inherent in these costs are the myriad researchers all of whom are well paid and want their own health care, paychecks and pensions.

cost is also based on the factories that must be built, and the workers there that want health care, paychecks and pensions.

cost is also based on the distribution channels of planes trains ships atc, and the people working on them, who also want, health care, paychecks and pensions...

cost is also based on the pharmacy distribution centers, the mail carriers, the pharmacist and cashiers, who also all want their own health care, paychecks and pensions.

at the end of the day, the cost of drugs has much more to do with all of these than it has to do with the cost of the raw ingredients, the molecules that are combimed to make the substance.

I think some folks want to demonize corporations and prove how greedy they are but tend to forget how much things really cost or the fact that without all the research and the great distribution systems we have that many more folks would be dead and many diseases would still languish without cures, that currently are being treated and cured.

Let's not be short sighted about the agenda of the people putting out numbers like those from costco....they may be trying to get the public to believe no human beings populate our system, our research, or our distribution...and this is not the truth.

Avatar universal
So merry,you do have to agree tho on one thing,ya cant say that the pharma drugs are overpriced come on now.

Check out what Canada just did to the pharmacies

Any reduction in the cost of prescription drugs for the tens of thousands of our members' employees and their retirees would be helpful in this regard," said Nantais.

And Ontario Nurses' Association president Linda Haslam-Stroud noted that rising pharmaceutical costs have been consuming a large portion of precious health-care system dollars.

TORONTO — Ontario's plan to scrap pharmacy allowances for generic drugs will inflict suffering on both drug stores and consumers as the industry hemorrhages jobs and cuts services, pharmacy retailers say.

Shoppers Drug Mart (TSX:SC), where prescription sales account for about half of revenue, said Thursday it has already started to "dis-invest" in Ontario due to the plan, which the government says will cut the cost of generic drugs sold in the province in half.

President and CEO Jurgen Schreiber said his company has already reworked its business model to cut store hours and new store openings in moves that will also result in job losses.

He said the funding Shoppers received from the allowances permitted the company to offer a number of customer services at its 600 Ontario outlets, including free delivery and late-night hours. Both of those services will be cut.

"What service can you offer when you have $13 to $14 (in) cost and get paid $8 in the future?" he said.

The chain also plans to cut back on hiring and cut a summer apprenticeship program that would have hired 350 pharmacy students this summer.

"We don't need so many pharmacists anymore because we will not open so many stores anymore," he said, without indicating how many of the company's 25,000 employees in Ontario might lose their jobs.

Despite the warnings from Shoppers and some analysts, the move was welcomed by many employers and by the province's nurses.


233616 tn?1312790796
I'm stymied as to how people expect to get safer drugs and better care with socialization.

right now, the capitalist countries produce the lion's share of the research because they can fund new research with their profits. True execs make big salaries, but these represent a paltry amount of over net profit....a huge amount goes back into research which is why the world now benefits from so much innovation.

another issue is pharmaceutical care.

the average MD has one years training in pharmaceuticals,

the average pharmacist has 6 years

the government take over is going to mean big changes here and not good ones.
chiefly because as we age, or if we are taking multiple things we need someone with expertise to supervise what we take and how things interact.
the people most capanle of catching these things are the pharmacists....doctor prescribe conflicting drugs regularly and the average day in the life of a pharmacist includes catching many toxic combos and preventing them,

for a good window into all this go read on some pharmacist forums...I kile "the angry pharmacist"...he makes many good points.
338734 tn?1377163768
That post (I have seen it several times before) is a little simplistic. Because of the extraordinary cost of many pharmaceuticals, it will find traction among those who are ignorant of the economics of cost of actual production of drugs, or other goods for that matter. For example: The essential ingredient of a pencil (the carbon) is many times less that the cost of a pencil. I don't think Ticonderoga is scheming to defraud the general population.

That said, it is a little strange that companies can sell the same drugs abroad for much less than they charge in the U.S. while they lobby congress to prevent U.S. citizens from obtaining their drugs from Canada. This "creaming" of the market is not unique to drugs. Check the price of sneakers in the U.S. compared to other countries.

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