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posted by janrinok on Monday August 15 2016, @01:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the money,-money,-money dept.

I ran across a story in the acclaimed “medical journal”, International Business Times, about how an old PMS medication from the 60s might be an Alzheimer's cure. Considering the source, I don't put a ton of stock in the story but it was interesting enough to look around a little more. That led me first to wikipedia to learn a little more about the drug in question (sounds like it has nasty side effects), which is when I got totally sidetracked:

Mefenamic acid is generic and is available worldwide under many brand names.[5]

In the USA, wholesale price of a week's supply of generic mefenamic acid has been quoted as $426.90 in 2014. Brand-name Ponstel is $571.70.[15] In contrast, in the UK, a weeks supply is £1.66, or £8.17 for branded Ponstan.[16] In the Philippines, 10 tablets of 500 mg generic mefenamic acid cost PHP39.00 (or the equivalent of $0.88USD) as of October 25, 2014.

The numbers in wikipedia may be extreme, but not by much. Looking online, I see that thirty 250mg tablets cost at least $111 at Walmart. In an almost direct reversal of the quantity and price numbers, one hundred 250mg tablets cost $35 from a UK manufacturer, but to get the drug at that price, you must break Federal law.

The rest of my comment would be a long string of expletives which I shall omit.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @03:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @03:36AM (#388080)

    What are the R&D costs associated with a drug that has been on the market since the 60's ? They have long since recouped those costs and are just profiteering now.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by archfeld on Monday August 15 2016, @03:41AM

    by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Monday August 15 2016, @03:41AM (#388082) Journal

    I go to Mexico and buy medications all the time. I'll check out the cost at the Purple Stores in Algodones next time I head over the border. Most items are available at a fraction of the cost and despite all the publicity I've never had Customs blink when bringing medicines back even when they are proscription, provided you can show a doctors script. There are limits on the quantity but the exact same medications are available the labels are just in Spanish.

    --
    For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @03:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @03:42AM (#388083)

    Well gee, you might have a point if they were no longer involved in any type of R&D since the 60s as well.

    Here, let me simplify your argument for you-

    "Bad regulation is what got us into this mess."

    "Well then obviously we need even more regulation."

    I'm done here.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @03:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @03:57AM (#388086)

      Lets not forget Martin Shkreli, who raised the cost of a life-saving drug 4,000 percent overnight after buying the rights to the drug.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @04:10AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15 2016, @04:10AM (#388091)

        Pyrimethamine has been available since 1953,[12] and is not subject to any unexpired patent.[13] However, in the United States, the market for this product is sufficiently small that no generic manufacturer has emerged.

        Let's not forget the rights to the drug were sold twice before he got it since NO ONE ELSE COULD MAKE A PROFIT ON IT.

        And screw you for putting me in the position of defending him.