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29 April 2008

Great Example of How Drug Companies Fool You With "New" Drugs

FDA just approved GlaxoSmithKline’s new drug Treximet for acute treatment of migraines in adults. So does that mean Treximet is a fabulous new breakthrough treatment for migraines?


It is a combination of Imitrex (soon to be available as a generic) and naproxen sodium (commonly known as Aleve, available Over the Counter).

How much would it cost a patient to take these 2 drugs separately?

* Naproxen sodium can be had for about 8 cents a pill. A single Aleve pill has 220 mg of naproxen sodium. There’s 500 mg of naproxen sodium in Treximet, so a patient would have to take about 2 1/4 Aleve pills to get to 500 mg. Since you can’t really take 1/4 of a pill, let’s assume most patients would take 2. 2 pills would give you 440 mg, so that’s pretty close to the 500 mg.
Cost: 16 cents.
* We don’t yet know how much generic Imitrex will cost. But the price of a generic typically drops to about 30 percent of the brand-name’s price within 6 months of the drug’s patent expiring and more generic companies introducing their own versions. So it’s safe to assume that generic Imitrex will cost about $7.50 by middle of 2009. (Even before then, the price of generic Imitrex will begin dropping from the current price of $25 a pill.)
Cost: $7.50

So, by spending $7.50 on generic Imitrex and 16 cents on over-the-counter Aleve, you can get the same thing you’d get in a Treximet — which is very likely to cost $25 or more.


* PAL April 24, 2008

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