Pharmaceutical Myths

Are you happy about the cost of prescription drugs?

I think it’s out of control…but nobody (of course NOT the Fed Gov’t) will stand up to the super rich pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer or Glaxo Smith Kline. You know how is goes….money rules.

Anyway… generics are the savior (sometimes) but they’re not always available because of 20 or 30 year patent protection. The claim for these long protective patents is to recover investment costs before the competition offers lower prices. BUT how long does it really take to recoup investment money? Is it 20 years? I hardly think so. How about 1 year.

Let’s look at one such drug that has a protective 20 year patent…Viagra. No generics for another 5 years or so. So how much revenue does this one drug generate?

Viagra cost about $32 per pill or $320 per month for 10 pills, which is the normal prescription. In 2012, 8 million prescriptions were written, not counting refills. Assuming everyone refills the prescription monthly, 8 million x $320 = $2.5 Billion per month. Even if they did not refill every month. Let’s say they only refill the prescription 4 times per year. That’s $10 Billion per year.

Do you think the investment cost has been recovered??? You Bet!!! The 20 or 30 year protective patents just ensure they make huge profits.