According to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, blood thinner Plavix, a popular drug from the collaborative house of Sanofi-Aventis SA and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., might have cost American tax-payers millions of dollars, thanks to the drug's "ineffective advertising".
Under the Medicare insurance plan for the poor, the price of Plavix hiked by nearly 12% "immediately" after its consumer ads began running in 2001. Overall, the increased cost of the medicine added some $207 Million to Medicare's spending in a total of 27 states over the next 4 years. The study is also quick to reveal that the number of Plavix prescriptions surged at a constant rate as well.
As per the study, it were the Plavix ads alone which led to Medicare insurance programs for the poor and disabled spending millions more on the medicine. "Payers and policy makers should be very concerned about the potential for drug advertising to increase health-care costs”, said study author Michael Law, while asserting that advertisements which are relayed directly to consumers "may lead to more affordable drugs if demand increases and production becomes more efficient".
Plavix, a popular blood thinner, is used to prevent heart attacks and keep cholesterol levels under check. The drug recorded sales worth $9.5 Billion last year alone, and is the second-largest selling cholesterol pill in the world, after Pfizer's Lipitor.