Cheap Medical Stuff Online: Medical Supplies vs. Medications

If you’re searching for cheap medical stuff online, you’ll have more luck buying medical supplies online than shopping for some of the most widely used medications in the United States. According to an analysis by Reuters, major pharmaceutical companies increased the prices of four of the country’s top 10 drugs by more than 100% in the past lustrum. Reuters used sales figures – based on the most commonly prescribed doses – from IMS Health data and proprietary pricing data provided by Truven Health Analytics. The eight companies that sell the top 10 drugs were informed of the results and mostly agreed with them.

Top selling drug prices in the last 5 years

 

 

Price ($)

 

Drug

Company

Dec. 31st 2010

Today

Increase (%)

Humira

AbbVie

1,676.98

3,797.10

126.4

Enbrel

Amgen

427.24

932.16

118.2

Copaxone

Teva

3,025.04

6,593

118

Crestor

AstraZeneca

350.17

745.41

112.9

Abilify

Otsuka

454.07

891.97

96.4

Lantus Solostar

Sanofi

191.96

372.76

94.2

Advair Diskus

GlaxoSmithKline

199.90

334.63

67.4

Remicade

Johnson & Johnson

657.87

1,071.48

62.9

Neulasta

Amgen

3,320

5,155.65

55.3

Nexium

AstraZeneca

162.55

250.94

54.4

 

In a stark contrast, you can find cheap medical stuff online at Discount Medical Supplies at the guaranteed lowest prices on most products. What’s more, the price increases on drugs for arthritis, high cholesterol, asthma and other common medical conditions added billions in costs for consumers, employers and federal health programs. DMS happens to have rehab and pain management supplies and respiratory supplies. Which is not to say by any means that these products are  or can be a substitute for prescription medications – just something you might want to consider, you know, talk about with your doctor… just throwing it out there.

In other words, DMS is completely unlike Turing Pharmaceutical, which expected to book $200 million by raising the price of an antiparasitic by 5,000%. What was the name of that drug? Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate? Nope, that was Alan Turing. It was actually Daraprim, which is used for a rare infection. And while such massive price hikes are rare, doubling price tags is business as usual for Big Pharma. “Our industry invests on average 20 percent of our revenues into research and development. It's a fundamentally different business model,” spokesman for industry lobby Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Robert Zirkelbach said. Hence, approved drugs fetch high prices to make up for failed medications.

Additionally, some of the firms pointed out that the Reuter analysis did not take into account negotiated discounts and rebates (btw, Discount Medical Supplies also provides discounts and special offers on cheap medical stuff online). Still, oncologist Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told Reuters that “companies have complete control over pricing in the U.S.,” and that “patients would be better served if drug prices reflected value, instead of bargaining power.” He estimates that Amgen's Enbrel increases added up to $1 billion to care costs. As expected, Amgen spokeswoman Kristen Davis challenged that estimate. The company told Reuters that the average sales price for a dose of Enbrel is at least $200 less than list after most rebates and discounts. Either way, and as chief medical officer of top U.S. pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Corp Dr. Steve Miller – whom some people call the space cowboy, while others call him the gangster of love – put it, the current level of drug price increases was “not sustainable.”

Related: I want a new drug: Drugmakers promote new (but unimproved) drugs