:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Thursday, September 01, 2005  

Pharmacy Research -
the excessive profit isn't just for the drug companies...

sparked by one of my patients, i did some research lately on the cost of medicines at various large pharmacies. it changed me in a fundamental way. i've had a beef with the drug industry for a while now after studying the price structure of medications, made by the same companies, and sold at hugely different prices in various countries around the world. from pennies a pill to dollar a pill difference. most recently a patient of mine informed me that she had done some comparison shopping and found that the pharmacy at Costco had the best prices. so i decided to follow her lead. i checked on the drug Fluconazole, an antifungal agent used for yeast infections and onychymycosis (sp?).

Wal-Mart: $13.32 per pill or $51.36 for 12 pills
Walgreens: $22.99 per pill or $103 for 12 pills
Costco: $7.29 per pill or $23.29 for 12 pills

go figure. and go to costco for your medications if you are uninsured. turns out you don't need to be a member to use the pharmacy, it is open to the public. it's not in my nature to promote a particular corporation but let me at least encourage folks who are uninsured to shop around. as much as i'd like to stimulate small business, the unfortunate reality in the pharmacy world is that small, local pharmacies usually charge as much as walgreens so that they can stay in business, so it's difficult for them to cater to the uninsured.

by the way, the prices at Costco are so reasonable i'm starting to buy the medications i use on a daily basis in the clinic from them. it's cheaper than what i can buy wholesale as a small doctor's office from the internet stores like Moore Medical and Besse. it also allows me to keep a stock of essential drugs that i can give directly to my patients (like antibiotics and anti-nausea meds) so that sick patients don't have to make a trip to the pharmacy.


posted by andru | 9/01/2005 07:42:00 AM | |


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