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Question For You $mart People
Once a year I see my cardiologist. I just went to see him Monday for my annual confirmation that I'm still alive. One of the meds I take for my cholesterol is a generic simvistatin. A 90 day supply only costs me $30 at Walgreens, where I have one of their rewards cards. He wanted to tweak it a bit and change it to a different one, again a generic. Well now.......Walgreens wanted $250.00 for the same 90 day supply!!! That's $1000 a year and an EIGHT HUNDRED PERCENT INCREASE! So I called him and told him to forget it. Then he called me back and told me that the Meijer Store's pharmacy department would give me the exact same pills, for 1 year, FOR FREE! Yes, FREE. ZERO!
Now, here's my question. I have a pretty good idea of how a free market works, having my own business for 40 years. I understand competition, service, supply and demand and the ups and downs that come with it. But this??? It makes no sense at all. What am I missing? I'll bet the government has something to do with this (they could screw up sunrise and sunset if they got control of it), but that's just a guess. I DON'T GET IT! What do you think???
If I go to Walgreens, even with my card, my piss pills cost a fortune, if a go to my health clinics pharmacy, I get them at a fraction of what Walgreens prices are ....
They are buying market share. People that take that statins on avg. end up taking a bunch more high profit drugs.
Screw ‘em all with diet and exercise. :-)
I can see a difference of 10, 20, even 30 percent. But FREE???? NOTHING is "free". Somewhere, somehow, someone had to pay to manufacture them. Who's getting screwed here?
I do that Joey, but I also have something called genetics that I have to deal with! If I didn't do the diet and exercise stuff I'd be dead already. Only ONE male on my mother's side (and she was one of 7 kids) made it much past 50.
Well, I’d like to blame genetics, as mom and dad were pretty dang smart folk......so I have to go with, I just didn’t try hard enough.
I'm in the same boat WW.... exercise......exercise......exercise..... fish oil..... Metamucil.... garlic..... cherios...... fake meat about 70% of the time... boca burgers.... etc..... still my cholesterol was off the charts.... my doctor changed my cholesterol meds 3 times and my last blood draw was 165. Mine is a generic too,, Atorvastatin 40MG. Now I need him to adjust my meds to address my sugar. I'm 51. I was adopted so I know nothing about my biological parents other than a hand written note from when I was an infant that said my biological mother had an enlarged heart. Oh,,,, And I'm certain that my beer drinking doesn't help my numbers....... ha !!! But that is my vice.....
I can take or leave the beer. But good ice cream???? OMG!!!
Joey, no matter how "healthy" you may be or how "healthy" I am and try to be... odds are against you and your prostate... BPH caught up to me and now w/o my pills, I'd need surgery or catheter and a piss bag strapped to my leg ... been there 3 times now (er room) before the correct meds and I found a good urologist... ever try running distance with a catheter in ya and a piss bag strapped to your leg.... didnt think so .. ;0)
Let me guess, you're new pill is the generic for Lipitor (atorvastatin).
It is the most popular of 9 different generics including a diabetes drug and a number of antibiotics that Meijer fills for free. They filled more than 3.2 million prescriptions for it in 2016.
It has been in generic years now and my guess is that with the quantity they buy, they get it VERY cheap.
Simply put, it is a great community service as well as a great way of getting a certain demographic into their store.
Jtv, that scares the piss out of me. :-)
You got it Kevin, but the question remains......FREE? I know they may not pay much, but a business cannot survive on "free". And how does Walgreens think they can charge $250 for something that people can go literally a half mile down the road and get for nothing?
I learned my economics via sweat, hard work and getting my tail kicked by my competitors. I guess I missed that lesson about free!
DL, how about dinner and drinks first? :-)
"You got it Kevin, but the question remains......FREE? I know they may not pay much, but a business cannot survive on "free".
A quick search on the internet shows the average retail cost for atorvastatin oral tablet 10 mg is around $19 for a supply of 90 tablets, depending on the pharmacy you visit. So let's say Meijer pays half that (probably substantially less than that).
If I can get a new customer in my store...one that will most likely buy other more profitable products while they are there, and will most likely continue shopping at my store multiple times a year, for less than 10 bucks...sign me up.
Too young for me, haha. I was going great until I had 10 surgeries in three years in my early 60s. 9 of those were related to knee replacement and staph infections. Every hospital stay was 3 more pounds on me. With that BP pills and cholesterol meds. Used to be able to run weight off. Now I don't dare run because I've been warned another surgery could result in loosing my leg above my knee. Genetics plays a big part in so many issues like cholesterol, BP and heart issues. I had s friend that lived into his mid 90s. He lived pork and chocolate. He was a meat and potatoes man. Now all his kids are in the 80s and two are still working. The longer we live the more issues that spring up. Wait until you have your bladder scoped(twice) or biopsies taken on your prostate. Both of those are reeeeaaallllyyyy invasive. Imagine a pencil being inserted up your wang or what feels like a baseball bat being shoved up your poop chute. Then a 16D nail goes out through your colon into your prostate and rips out a chunk for a biopsy. 12 biopsies to be exact. Ah yes, the golden years. That's where all the gold you have saved gets spent on Drs, dentists and drugs. Oh yeah last year I paid out $5,000 on a bridge and crown and so did my wife. There went a dandy hunting trip.
Joey, if your waking in the middle of the night multiple time to go piss, or feeling you have to and cant, stop and go while your going/ weak stream, have to sit to piss, or stand and wait forever to go then you dribble....guess what ... yep, you've got onslaught BPH... or prostate cancer .. it may get so bad you cant go, at all no matter what, no matter how hard you try (which makes it worse), the pain is excruciating, you feel your going to burst, you'll need a catheter and piss bag then... dont let it get to that point, if you have symptoms now, go see a good urologist....if ANYONE has those symptoms now, go see a urologist..
If you're pre type 2 diabetic or type 2 diabetic, there are 2 supplements that help.
Tri-Valant Chromium Picolinate. 1000 mcg morning and night. Berberine 1000mg 3x a day
My daily prick went from 300+ to 139 in 3 months. My A1C from 8.7 to 7.3 and I haven't changed my diet. I've a blood test tomorrow, I'll have new results next week to see if I keep dropping my A1C levels.
I have been a diabetic since I was 30 and I am now 75. Have been taking four shots of insulin a day all those years. I used to pay $12 for a vial of insulin. Now it is $200 a vial. I go in the donut hole pretty quickly and it comes out of my pocket. A lot of people use the pen but there is only about a third amount of insulin in the pen and it cost more so I still use a hypodermic needle. My grand parents lived into their 90's and my dad died two months short of 98 and mom was just short of being 97. I want to die in my sleep like my grand father, not screaming like the passengers in his car.
Did you buy anything else when you were at Meijer? I would postulate that their train of thought is that once in the store, you are going to buy other things. Especially when they (in your mind) just saved you $250.
Are you sure it's not a *one time* free 90 day trial?
Either way, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, and go get your meds.
Plenty of examples of why single payer healthcare would 1) keep big pharma in check and 2) keep you guys healthy without breaking your budget. Looks like you guys made a great argument.
K Cummings's Link
Oh bullshit. If the government touches it it's toast. They do it EVERY time. And how are we supposed to know that Commie Care will save us money? Because the government and it's socialist ass kissers SAY it will? We already tried that and it was TOTAL lies. So stop lying about it. You Commies are great at one thing.......lying.
"Are you sure it's not a *one time* free 90 day trial? "
Positive. Meijer has been doing this for years. Meijer is a great Michigan based company. Not perfect, no company is, but very good.
A commie finally telling the truth!
K Cummings's Link
I get that Kev, but how does Walgreens justify charging $250.00 for the same thing? Or are there enough people stupid enough to pay it even though they know they can get it free?
I need customers like that!!!
K Cummings's Link
Believe it or not, in this age of anti-hunting political correctness, they also give free youth hunting licenses for children 16 and under. Have been doing so for as long as I can remember.
That's a question for Walgreens. Could that be the price for the brand name version Lipitor? It could be that they just want to make a killing on that particular drug.
Here's a prime example WW, it's kind of a long story but bear with me.
I have a free standing Vermont Castings gas fireplace in my home. It's a great stove but for some reason, it eats switches and the stove will kick on and off intermittently. I have to replace the three way on off rocker switch every year or two. The local Vermont Castings dealer charges 24.95 for the switch. Over the years, I have purchased 3 or 4 of them. No biggie...
I went to get one last year and they were sold out and it would take a while to get one so I did a search online. I found the identical switch, same brand, same everything for .72 a piece. That's not a typo, 72 fricking cents.
.72 -vs- 24.95. I ordered 10 of them and with shipping, the price for 10 was less than have the price of ONE at the local dealer. I like supporting my local retailers but there is a limit to my generosity.
WW, just ask your cardio doc why the difference.
Let us know what he says.
That's crazy, but I've seen stuff like that too with appliance parts. I guess as the world gets smaller the laws of regional supply and demand go out the window too.
And Walgreens was charging that for the generic lipitor. I get my freebie today. I will stop by Walgreens and tell them. I'll be interesting to hear what they have to say.
Well, show Meijer your gratitude and buy something else along with your prescription.
Heck, with the money you saved, just think of the hunting stuff you can buy. Or even better yet, buy your wife a little something special. That goes a LONG way...and it has a much better ROI than hunting stuff.
That is typically called a "loss leader" and it's function is as stated here. They sell something(s) for less than cost to get you into the store. This tactic is common in all types of sales advertising.
Why change? Ask the doctor if he benefits from one over the other.
"Well, show Meijer your gratitude and buy something else along with your prescription."
I did. I also take 81 mg aspirin everyday, and Meijer had a two bottle pack that would supply me for TWO YEARS for $9.99.
And my Dr wanted to change the meds because he'd like to see my blood pressure go down a tad.
I've had a couple Drs load me up with free samples after telling them that meds they were prescribing were costing way more than I could afford. I've had CVS where I go ask if they could change brands by calling my dr that would save me several hundred for a 90 day supply. Be happy you're not using cancer drugs. Prices in some of that is beyond belief.
A few weeks ago my oldest son got sick . The doctor gave us a prescription for some meds and as we were leaving he handed me a coupon that said that the customer will pay no more than 15 bucks for the medicine. It was a coupon from the pharma co. Got to Krogers and the clerk rang it up at 600 dollars for 30 pills. Wife looked at me and I said is that with the insurance. Clerk said no and rang it up with the insurance included and it came to 190 dollars. I said I thought that coupon said no more than 15 dollars, she said, oh, you have the coupon? Give me the number. We did and got it for 15 dollars. Great for us but that sucks for someone needing the meds and not having the "golden" coupon. It's ridiculous what they charge for some of this stuff.
$600 to $30??? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I guess the laws of economics don't apply to the drug industry.
"$600 to $30??? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I guess the laws of economics don't apply to the drug industry."
The sad part is, the drug industry is probably making decent money even at $30.
Just another example of our broken health care system. But what's the answer? Regulate drug prices? I doubt anyone here would advocate that.
It's free because you should not be taking it. Also, it could be a loss leader of sorts because cholesterol is used to repair the body and make hormones (which regulate the health of the body) so, if you take a cholesterol lowering med, you're bound to create, exacerbate or reveal other chronic issues that will pay much bigger dollars.
Your body manufactures about 3000mg of cholesterol a day so "high cholesterol" is generally not the problem. Again, cholesterol is used to repair the body. Whatever underlying problem you have that is elevating cholesterol is, however, a chronic problem.
That's my health and jaded market analysis. More likely, the drug rep just gave Meijer's a deal to open up future revenue streams.
All that....or it could just be a matter of an organization looking to give back to a community that has been so good to them. Sometimes quality organizations do that, aside from any ancillary benefits it may offer.
Now, if they would just offer EpiPens for free, we could save thousands.
The drug company isn't just getting the $30, they are getting what they bill the insurance company for also.
It's all a game really. If people actually knew what was being paid for some items, or if the money came directly out of their pocket, my guess is that a good chunk wouldn't choose to buy them. That in fact IS what happened for many years.
Just like at a buffet, when people load up their plates and don't eat all or much of it, and definitely don't need it. "I paid for it." So to is the medical industry. "I've got the insurance, and I paid for it (maybe), so why not?". Supply and demand can work, but right now it just isn't supply and demand.
Folks, I know the Meijer corporation well. My next door neighbor is a store manager. Meijer is a Michigan based, family owned business that does a whole host of things in the communities they are in, for nothing other than to show their appreciation. I was told that since the free prescription program started, over 40 million
free prescriptions have been filled, saving customers more than $500 million.
Whether it's free antibiotics and certain prescription drugs, to free youth hunting licenses, to financially supporting a whole host of local projects and events, scholarships, sporting events, special events and free merchandise for students at their college town locations, etc., they are just a good, generous company.
"The drug company isn't just getting the $30, they are getting what they bill the insurance company for also."
Not in my case. I don't have any insurance that covers meds. That's why I shop.