Why do so many people prefer the purple pill? It's ALL marketing. They've simply taken the cheaper, equally effective OTC PPI named Prilosec (omeprazole, $19-26 for 1 mo.) and found a way to purify it differently so that the final product only contains the active form (they call it esomeprazole), and not its inactive enantiomeric mirror image. In other words, they're the SAME drug with different names. Their elegant studies show a slightly higher effectiveness with Nexium vs. Prilosec while other studies show no difference. More than half of the $193 per month you pay for Nexium goes directly into marketing for Nexium. This is the main reason it costs so much!
If you had taken a few minutes to visit www.crbestbuydrugs.com (consumer reports for drugs), you would've realized that you were spending TEN TIMES more than you needed to for this medication!
This situation is based on a visit with a patient that I had last week. A single working mother who was most likely on Medicaid, and she swore that the only thing that works for her heartburn is Nexium. So I asked, "Well, have you tried Prilosec?" She hadn't.
In summary: Why do we need unbiased sources?
- Doctors are influenced ... even if you don't think so
- Drug reps are factually inaccurate
- Articles funded by drug companies show bias
- Most Continuing Medical Education (for doctors) publications and seminars are sponsored by drug companies, and the data presented is often biased and skewed.
- Consumer Union Best Buy Drugs -- www.crbestbuydrugs.com This website fills a gap in the public's knowledge about the effectiveness and safety of prescription drugs and how drugs given for a particular illness compare with each other. It gives patients a better idea about how much drugs cost, including the comparative value of various drugs, with condensed and long reports.
- www.guidelines.gov -- evidence-based clinical practice guidelines