I posted this on Facebook and drew plenty of comments so I’m adding it here with a little more background and a closer look at Horizon Pharma. “100 famotidine 20mg is under $20 and you can get 1,000 ibuprofen 200mg for under $20. So I now present today’s Drug without SHAME: Duexis (800mg ibu, 26.6mg famotidine), invoice cost for 90 tablets: $1,429.76. Shame shame shame on Horizon Pharmaceuticals.”
Horizon also makes some other products using off-patent drugs and recreating them in new, branded products with new delivery systems and very high prices. These include Vimovo (naproxen and esomeprazole), Pennsaid (diclofenac 2% topical solution), and Rayos, delayed release prednisone.Like Duexis, each of these offers a savings card for consumers, offering a lower copay (at least for a while). These card are a hassle for the pharmacy to process and patients rarely read the fine print. The cards lower copay, so the insurance still gets billed the high cost of the drug, adding to our high cost of health care.
Horizon is not alone in this strategy. Remember Diclegis? Pharmacy shelves are littered with partial bottles of these things. A patient comes in with a card for this expensive new drug, we order it and dispense 30 out of 100 and the remainder sits on the shelf. No business wants a thousand dollar item sitting on the shelf. The only hope is that doctors and other prescribers stop prescribing this stuff. That’s highly unlikely, however, as millions are spent marketing these high profit drugs.
Just say no!