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Pharmacutical Sales and The Price Of Lunch...

posted 3/6/2009 5:51:06 AM |
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It has never made any sense to me why some prescriptions cost a rediculous price for a months supply, causing many to not be able to afford their needed medications. Some doctors don't think to prescribe a less expensive one that sometimes does just as good a job and they can afford to take it. Or to offer their patients samples to make sure the med is going to help in the first place.

The list of medications that many insurance companies won't cover anymore, or at least need to be preapproved is getting longer and longer. But the drug companies still keep raising the prices.
For what? Wouldn't it make more sense to lower prices and be able to sell more.....and .......Oh I don't know, maybe help people feel better or save their lives?!?

My family doctor is really good about giving samples of the med to make sure it is going to helpful first or to those who don't have insurance. He will also make sure you have insurance before he writes a prescription that is known to be expensive.

However, I have been in his office many times when the drug reps come in to leave samples and tell him about new products and many of them bring lunch for the whole office staff.
Last week when I was in there I could hear their conversation and the office mgr asked one of the girls what she wanted for lunch. The girl said she had brought her lunch and the mgr told her to save it for tomorrow, that ____ from _____ company was bringing lunch with her.
They ordered from Olive Garden, and this happens all of the time with several different drug reps.

Now I understand why people can't afford meds that they need...... they have to keep their prices high so they can continue buying office staffs lunch.

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Mar 6 @ 6:32AM  
It's all good, as long as I can get

my generic Viagra!!

Mar 6 @ 6:58AM  
CL, don't even ask what the pharma reps get paid. It'll make you sick in ways the Dr can't fix!

New medications are protected from generic equivalents for several years, 7, if I recall, to protect the company's R&D investment. When this period is over, generic manufacturers can make the generic equivalent.

Here's something else to make you sick. In some cases, the company who invented the pill can pay the generic manufacturer NOT to make a generic version. Imagine getting paid 7-8 figures not to work. Where do I sign up?

Mar 6 @ 6:58AM  
the american way......grease the wheel

atleast the rep aint taking em all out to an all nude dancing bar for lunch .......yano with money for all to tuck on da' girls

Mar 6 @ 7:10AM  
Ahhhh....the American medical way.

I think they have a part in the legal section of the government called the 'Just Us' Dept.

Anybody ever seen the movie called 'Sicko' by Michael Moore? It gives some interesting insights comparing American medical care to that of other countries.

I'm now a big fan of Michael Moore - but that's one I found interesting.

Mar 6 @ 7:11AM  
Correction - I'm NOT a fan of Michael Moore

Mar 6 @ 7:44AM  
No one will argue abut the high costs of drugs here in the US which is why I buy my husbands costly medicines from Canada at 1/3 of the cost of what I would pay here.

I happen to work in an industry that is closely related to the advertising/promotional product side of pharmaceuticals. There are new guidelines in place effective Jan. 2009 which address this very issue of free lunches as well as other so called perks. While these are just Guidelines most major pharmaceutical firms are taking them quite seriously.

It is a typical Catch 22 scenario. The companies and sales people that made a living off of selling the Pharmaceutical companys the pens, note pads, coffee mugs, etc. with the drug name are dropping like flies since the new guidelines went into effect.

Will this bring down the cost of drugs? I seriously doubt it but thousands of people have lost their jobs because of it.

Pharma Guidelines

More Pharma Guidelines

Mar 6 @ 8:02AM  
I too, have often seen the sales reps at the Doctors office, and wondered WTF they were doing there!!!
My doctor takes notice also, to who has Insurance or Not!!!! and Hes gives all the samples he can to see if they are working 1st!!!!
I will have to admit..... since I Have No Insurance... I will have to be at Deaths door..before I go now!!! Such is Life!!!!

Mar 6 @ 8:15AM  
My hottie lady Doc gave me all the free samples of one a day Cialis
that I wanted and made housecalls to alleviate the situation when the hard on lasted 4hours..

Mar 6 @ 8:22AM  
one of my pills cost over 75 a month

Mar 6 @ 8:30AM  
My inhaler costs 25 a month. But I got lucky, walgreens has their prescription club for 20 a yr, which dropped the price to 10 bucks. Blueeyes708 gets some of her pills cheaper, too. So it paid for itself the first couple months. If they havent already, everyone should at least check into it to see if any of your meds are covered on their fairly long list.

Mar 6 @ 8:58AM  
Druuugss. Eh, eh.

If I could afford them my medications would run about $120/month. That's after all the discounts.

Mar 6 @ 9:30AM  
That's how they promote their drugs and try to get the doctors to push their product! It's all business....just like everything else that drives this and greed and unfortunately at the expense of people's health

Mar 6 @ 9:53AM  
Office staff lunches is a very small drop in a very huge bucket. I'll give you 2 things that has hugely affected the cost of meds.

1) Lawsuits. In small amounts, drugs can help the body. Larger amounts are toxic. The problem becomes, there are always going to be individuals who cannot tolerate even the small amounts and will get sick, or ever die. And when that happens, the family sues for MILLIONS of dollars... and this contributes to the cost WE all pay. And no, you cannot anticipate what your reaction will be, any more than you can anticipate if you will be allergic to peanuts before you take that first bite. And yet, people do die from peanut, or other food allergies... but they don't sure Planters. Yet.

2) Health Insurance. Yep. When I was a kid, we didn't have insurance. You got sick, you toughed it out for a while to see if you were REALLY sick before you ran to the Dr because it all came out of your pocket. Once insurance came along as employee benefits, people ran in for every little sniffle..... because, hey..... we're not paying for it....... the insurance company is! Don't tell me it will take a week for this cold to go away.... I WANT DRUGS NOW!. And, since they are no longer paying the bill, they didn't care how much it cost. So.... companies raised prices just because they could.

The insurance companies are tired of getting ripped off so they are starting to revolt and not pay. Something the consumer would have done 25 years ago if they had still been paying themselves. Except now costs have gotten SO out of hand....... how do you put the toothpaste back in the tube??

Mar 6 @ 10:19AM  
One of my daughters meds cost $20 a pill and the doctor laughed about when he prescribed it. what an a$$

Mar 6 @ 11:16AM  
It's not just the original price of the medications that gets me, it's when you get a full prescription and than find out a few days later, you're allergic to them, or they are not doing their job so you have to get a prescription for something else. Than you have a prescription that you have to flush down the toilet that possibly cost hundreds of dollars to fill.

I now ask my doctor how long she figures it will take before I will see an improvement. That gives me a time line to go by and when I go to fill my prescription I ask for that amount of pills for that time line. If they work, I will go back and get the rest of the prescription but at least I don't have a full prescription to throw away. Also if you are going to have an allergic reaction, it's probably going to be in that time line also.


Mar 6 @ 11:22AM  

Mar 6 @ 12:05PM  

Since I'm taking 11 different Meds. I'm not even going to get started on this.

Mar 6 @ 1:20PM  
Here's Walgreens section on their savings club. 20 a year for a single, 35 a yr for a family. Pets too!!

Walgreens savings club

Mar 6 @ 3:45PM  
I am not defending the pharmaceutical industry (my out of pocket cost for my husbands medications are over $500 a month) but there is a trickle down effect to drug pricing.

First the cost of Research and Development for a possible cure and new drug is astronomical. The FDA process alone takes years and more often than not results in the drug submitted to be rejected. Back go the drawing board and millions of more dollars being spent. the drug finally reaches the FDA approval stage. Then what? How is the drug marketed to the physician and public? Adverting that's how. If anyone thinks a Dr. has time to sit once a week and spend 10 hours scouring medical magazines for the newest and latest they are crazy, it's not going to happen. This is where the Pharmaceutical rep comes in. It is their job to get the drugs into the doctors hands and eventually to the patient.

The money that a Pharma Reps spends on that lunch comes out of his or her pocket. Yes for the most part a Rep makes very good money or so it seems but by the time you take away what they spend out of pocket they are better off sitting behind a desk.

Now add televsion and print advertising that appeals to the potentional patient to the cost then add packaging, shipping and insurance. The costs keep rising.

Now let's add that stockholder and his demand for dividends to be paid. Your own personal company 401K could be tied to a Pharma company investment and you want to see profits.

Bottom line, the cost of drugs is mind numbing but I do pose the question why I can buy a generic version of a anti-seizure medication in Canada for $179.00 for a 3-month supply yet that generic is NOT available in the US and it costs $298.00 for a 30-day supply of the Brand drug?

This detail is what makes no sense to me at all.

Mar 6 @ 5:40PM  
Go to Mexico and get 'em all cheap..
For those of you who live close to Mexico

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Pharmacutical Sales and The Price Of Lunch...