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In recent years, drug makers have profited from creating combination pills that are made at a fraction of the list price.

In an article featured on The Health Care Blog, Devon Herrick writes:

“It may sound a little odd that a drug maker is reformulating cheap, over-the-counter drugs into combination pills costing $17 to $25 per tablet. The equivalent ingredients are available over the counter for $0.17 cents to $0.40 cents.”

In this article, Herrick mentions two specialty drugs, Duexis and Vimovo, which are created by combining heartburn medications and common NSAIDs. Both of these drugs could be purchased separately at a fraction of the price. However, most consumers do not know that this is an option.

Additionally, it is important to note that NSAIDs were previously removed from CVS’s formulary list. By withholding this information, pharmaceutical companies were prohibiting consumers from knowing what products were in that class and if there were substitutes available.

As drug prices continue to rise, it is important to understand that there are other options available to avoid spending exorbitant amounts on the drugs you need. In the updated 2017 formulary list, NSAIDs are listed, leaving us to question why they were removed in the first place.

Read the full article, How a Simple Little Pill Ended Up Costing 1000 Percent More Than Its Ingredients, from The Health Care Blog for more information. Also, please take a look at CVS’s 2017 Standard Formulary List of Removals and Updates.