You Might be Shocked by the Prices of Prescription Drugs with Ads on Television
Did you know that Jublia, that John McEnroe nail fungus drug is $581?
By Rob Cockerham |
Sometimes it seems like every commercial on TV is for a drug. This has got to be expensive. The price of drugs in the U.S. is amazingly high, but we prefer to think of the cost as being a reflection of the cost of scientific research, rather than the cost of drug marketing.
Drug commercials usually show a person going through his or her day without any problems, picnicing or enjoying the lake. Occasionally a really creative ad will show up, like the Jublia commercial below.
The Jublia commercial is an unforgetable nightmare of images. A toe with fungus plays in a tennis match against the words "toenail fungus".
The match is announced by celebrity tennis champion John McEnroe.
I believe this is a female toe. I can't remember, but maybe she has a ponytail?
If you look carefully, you can spot six instances of the word Jublia on the screen in this image.
Jublia competes against $10 "over the counter" nail fungus cures. I wrote to the cheapest pharmacy I could find (Costco mail order) and I was shocked to find that the price of Jublia is $581 for the 4 ml bottle.
Ahh! What the heck? Now, this is the cash price. If you have prescription drug insurance coverage, you should pay less.
$581 for 4 milliliters! You can get a 50" UltraHD television for that much money. No wonder they don't mention the price.
Finding out about Jublia prompted me to inquire about the price of other prescription drugs I see advertised on television. Here's an example of a more typical prescription drug commercial: Farxiga!
According to Drugs.com, Farxiga is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. It works by helping your kidneys dump glucose from your bloodstream. It is used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Also, it is the perfect drug to use if you would like to pose with a group.
They never have prices on these prescription drug ads, so I asked the pharmacist at Target. a supply of 30 tablets (10 mg) costs $476.
Isn't that amazing? You might only spend $476 a month on food ($15.80 / day), yet this one pill costs that much.
Again, this is the cash price.
Here's the next one I saw. Levemir.
Levemir is a supernatural kind of insulin that people with type 2 diabetes can take. It's not a pill, it is injected, and it is supposed to help lower your bloodsugar for 24 hours.
It isn't cheap. A 10 ml vial has a $284.88 price tag at Costco. A person's dosage varies, but if he is only using 10 units per day, this little bottle might last him 100 days. Heck, that's half the price of Jublia, but it's about 10 times as expensive as regular insulin. Is the higher price a result of advertising costs?
I'm going to end this page here, but I've got a few more I'd like to share. I think a significant portion of the drug price is due to the price of advertising these presciption drugs on television. I think it is an unfortunate situation.