Little Pricey Pill –

In this tale of the history of Nexium, the author describes how bs marketing and flimflam contribute to increasing the costs of health care without added benefit.

The journey of a thousand cuts might begin with a little purple pill. It should have started years ago. Nexium launched in 2001, just as the patent for Prilosec, AstraZeneca’s original heartburn remedy, was expiring. Intense marketing around Nexium coincided with price increases for Prilosec, pushing many patients to Nexium. Doctors, easy to woo with drug sales reps bearing samples and company-commissioned research reports, were happy to write scripts for the new drug–and oblivious of the economic implications. Insurers and their corporate clients mostly wimped out, paying full freight for Nexium. Nobody wants to be the bad guy with employees’ health coverage. But the sum of many dubious coverage decisions adds up; the nation’s health spending keeps rising at 5% to 6% a year.

via Little Pricey Pill –


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