The Generic Drug Rip Off

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I did everything
I could – including risking life in prison. Back in the 1980s–1990s,
the Life Extension Foundation® crusaded to enlighten
Americans about the economic ruination that would occur if this
country’s corrupt drug regulatory structure was not
abolished. At the behest of pharmaceutical interests, the FDA brutally
retaliated against us.

What I am about
to divulge is a shocking revelation about why prescription
drugs cost so much. Before I describe this pervasive fraud, I want
to remind readers what happens when an apathetic public allows archaic
government regulations to rule the marketplace.

The Economic
Collapse of Argentina

In the 1940s,
Argentina was the ninth wealthiest country in the world. At one
point it was richer than France and boasted a higher standard of
living than Canada. It was considered one of the best countries
in which to live.

After an endless
series of reckless governmental actions including uncontrolled borrowing
and economic mismanagement, Argentina’s standard of living
ranking has plummeted to 46th. If you had money in an Argentinean
bank in 1999, it vanished. If you owned Argentinean government bonds,
you lost most of your principal as the central government defaulted
on its obligations.

Other countries
have faced worse problems, including the mass murder of their citizens
in one form or another by the central government.

The reason
I mention Argentina is that its economic collapse has similarities
to what the United States is facing.

Misguided and
corrupt government policies, combined with citizen apathy allowed
financial ruination to happen in Argentina. We in the United States
are not immune to the same calamity.

If what I expose
in this article does not motivate citizens to take action, I don’t
know what will. It is beyond my comprehension that the common-sense
free market solution I propose will be ignored by the American citizenry.

 

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Health Care
Costs Bankrupting United States

Everything
Life Extension® predicted about the health care cost
crisis is happening before our eyes. Major corporations, individuals,
and the government are being bankrupted by out-of-control medical
costs. Some say the economic challenges facing the United States
will result in substantially reduced standards of living.
This does not have to happen.

As we long
ago identified, the cause behind spiraling medical costs
is a crooked and ludicrous regulatory structure.

Today’s
health care cost crisis is widely acknowledged and feared. No one,
however, has yet proposed a practical solution to resolve it.

Even We
Are Selling Overpriced Drugs

Three years
ago, we established the Life Extension Pharmacy™ to
provide members with unique health services and the lowest drug
prices. Even though our prices are consistently at the rock bottom
end of the marketplace, you still grossly overpay for generic drugs
– no matter where you buy them.

The reason
for high-priced generics is not because the active ingredients are
expensive. On the contrary, compared with complicated nutrient extracts,
the ingredients in drugs are usually synthetic chemicals that cost
only pennies a day.

The culprit
behind overpriced generic drugs is an archaic regulatory environment
that functions to protect pharmaceutical financial interests, forcing
consumers to pay artificially inflated prices for their generic
medications.

If our proposal
to overhaul today’s inefficient regulatory system succeeds,
at least part of the health care cost crisis will disappear quickly.
A side benefit to lower-priced generic drugs is that it will force
pharmaceutical companies to bring out life-saving medications faster,
since almost-as-good generics will cost virtually nothing.

An Example
of a Grossly Inflated Generic Price

Once a brand
drug comes off patent, generic equivalents emerge, but they cost
far more than they need to because of FDA over-regulation.

Take the drug
finasteride (Proscar®) for example. It came off patent in
2006, but at the end of 2008, chain pharmacies were charging about
$90 for 30 tablets (a one-month supply). All it takes to make this
drug is to put 5 mg of finasteride into a tablet that dissolves
in the stomach. Vitamin companies do this every day with nutrients,
but the FDA does not allow them to freely do the same thing with
drugs.

An Example
of a Grossly Inflated Generic Price

We checked
on the cost of buying finasteride and making it into tablets.
The free market price for 30 tablets is only $10.25, which includes
an independent assay of the ingredient quality, potency, and tablet
dissolution – and a reasonable profit margin. It is against
the law, however, for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)-certified
vitamin manufacturers to offer low-cost generic drugs. This prohibition
must be lifted as America can no longer afford to subsidize those
who are politically connected while the country is driven into insolvency.

Finasteride
is a drug that not only helps relieve benign prostate enlargement,
but may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Widespread use
could save Medicare lots of money in expensive prostate treatments.
Those who follow Life Extension®’s other recommendations
would be expected to reduce prostate cancer risk even more.

As evidence
mounts about the prostate cancer risk reduction associated with
drugs like finasteride, more companies are competing to make
it, but its average price at chain pharmacies is around $86 a month
– a staggering eight times higher than what its free market
price would be!

Please note
that generic prices tend to wildly fluctuate. In this case, as more
competitors entered the market, chain pharmacies did not substantially
lower the price of finasteride. In some cases, the opposite occurs,
and by the time you read this, the price could vary.

Read
the rest of the article

September
29, 2009

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