Has anyone got any info on this??-Cipro

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This was sent to me by a old school friend from Oregon and I don't even know how to check it all out or if the information is correct. I would like to know if it is true.

* Cost of a 60-day supply in the U.S. of the anthrax-fighting antibiotic Cipro, patented by Bayer: $700

* Cost of a generic alternative, not available in the U.S. due to Bayer's patent: $20

* Amount of profits made by U.S. pharmaceutical industry last year, in billions: $27

* Amount that U.S. consumers would save if imports of generic alternatives of all drugs were allowed in the U.S., in billions: $30

* Amount that George Bush is willing to reduce costs of Cipro by over-riding the Bayer monopoly, as the government of Canada did last month: 0

* Amount that Bush received from the pharmaceutical industry for his presidential campaign: $472,333

* Number of former drug company executives in Bush's cabinet: 2

________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), November 07, 2001


There is a generic for Cipro which costs about half as much as the name brand.......

-- lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), November 07, 2001.


I would like to know where this information came from. Anybody can write anything and put it on the net without having a source. To me this information does not mean a whole lot, because I am not sure if any or all of it is true.

Bayer is a German company, not American .

What is wrong with having a patent on something. It protects them from theft on something that took a long time, and lots of money to produce.

I don't care how much money the drug companies make. I would rather have a medicine that works when I need it. Ask anyone who has done chemotherapy. It is worth the cost. (I know the poor can't afford it, well they can't afford anything else either, so what is the point?)

Over-riding a monopoly is only a slippery slope that will lead to many problems in the future. We can say we have to get this product no matter what, and pretty soon some other country is saying the same thing. Patents will be totally useless, ansd research will stop. Is that a good outcome? We have to look at the long term effects, not just what we need at the moment.

I don't mind that drug company money was donated to a compaign. Lots of groups that I don't support donate to candidates I don't support all the time. It's life, get real.

As far as complaining about drug company executives getting appointed to government positions, where is the beef? These folks can run a company and would probably be good in running a group in the government. They have experience doing this.

Thanks for listening

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (bjwick@hotmail.com), November 08, 2001.

Bob, I think I was asking a question..........does anyone know about this?? I did not post it as fact and I was interested in information. I do NOT believe everything that is send to me or that I read on this site or any others. I am just not very good at searching yet. :>)

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), November 08, 2001.


Did not mean to offend you, but I am getting tired of folks posting everything they read. I am more interested in what YOU are thinking about, rather than what you read. Anybody can read stuff and post to the net, but not everyone seems to be able to think on their own. This is not a reference to you, but I think you know what I am talking about.

Once again I hope you were not offended by my response.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (bjwick@hotmail.com), November 08, 2001.

No offense taken Bob, and yes I do understand. To be very honest with you, although I have opinions on how I think things SHOULD be, I am politically very ignorant of what all the various parties SAY that they stand for. Way too often I get in over my head because I am on an entirely different page than someone and am clueless to their references and labels. I thought you made some good points, but quite frankly I think money plays way too much of a role in who is running our country and the decisions that they make.

Here I thought Bayer was American as apple pie........see how much I know. ;>)

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), November 08, 2001.

Dear Bob' I think your nit picking. and as for the poor people who can"t afford drugs, wow, your not old yet and have to take different kinds of meds on a pension, and social security, My husband takes several kinds of heart meds. and I take several too. most are not generic. there are times when we cut pills in half, to stretch the meds.there has to be something wrong with this picture. Irene

-- Irene (catlady@cs.com), November 08, 2001.


I was surprised when I checked out the drug companies also. Out of the top 34: USA 13, UK 6, Germany 4, France 3, Japan 3, Switzerland 2, Denmark 1, India 1, Australia 1 I will probably check out my prescriptions better in the future to see where they really come from. This info came from Google: Search words: Major Drug Comapanies. Just thought you may be interested.

I agree with you Diane that money is too important in politics, always has been, and probably always will be. If you are not a millionaire or close to it, you can't run for any significant office in this country. Whatever happened to anyone growing up to be president? The only thing I can think of is to limit the number of ads that can be run during a campaign. But I suppose this would restrict "freedom of speech".

AARRGH Just drives me crazy thinking about it.


I know how you feel. You are right I am not old , well not social security age anyway, but I am in the same situation as you. I am disabled and also have a heart problem, so I am quite familiar what it is like living on a limited income and trying to pay for drugs. It gets real frustrating for me. Sacrifices here are also normal. My wife works, but is also on multiple drugs for various things. In an average month we spend more for medical stuff than we do for food. I agree with you, it should not have to be like this. I don't know what the solution is to the problem either. It just frustrates me beyond description. Hope this helps you understand where I am coming from. I guess I get a little uplifted when I remember what Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor."

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (bjwick@hotmail.com), November 08, 2001.

Just some thoughts from the other side of the issue...

Bringing one new drug to market in the US takes 7-10 years and millions of dollars. If the drug companies didn't have the money guaranteed by patent protection they wouldn't be able to afford the R&D costs.

Drugs produced outside of the US are cheaper because they don't undergo FDA scrutiny. I am not a big fan of the FDA, but if you buy a generic equivalent of a drug manufactured in a foreign country there is absolutely no quarantee that the pill even contains what it says on the label. I"d rather pay $700 and know that I'm getting Cipro, as opposed to $20 for a bottle of powdered sugar and rat spit.

One of my friends works for a major pharmaceutical company here in the US. He has a 1 year old son and another baby on the way. The company announced earlier this year that there will be no pay increases next year. No cost of living increases, no merit bonuses, nothing. It's easy to bash big companies, but remember that big companies are made up of little people just like us.

-- Sherri C (CeltiaSkye@aol.com), November 09, 2001.

Oops Diane, I didn't mean to imply that you were bashing anyone, I realize that you were just looking for information. :)

I forgot to add that my grandparents pay around $1000 a month for their various prescriptions. It seems like there should be able to be some sort of happy medium between the drug companies making the money they need to stay in business, and people being able to afford the medications they need.

-- Sherri C (CeltiaSkye@aol.com), November 09, 2001.

Profits of Fear by MARC SIEGEL

Every closet in my medical office is suddenly filled with samples of Ciprofloxacin, an ordinary antibiotic intended primarily for use with bladder infections. This week, every patient phone call I receive and almost every patient visit to my office includes a request for this antibiotic. Physicians as well as patients are stockpiling the drug. One of my patients returns home to his wife, and she relays to me that instead of reassuring her with news of his normal test results, he instead brags, "I've got it. I've got it," brandishing his hoard of Cipro samples that he must have smuggled from my closet. Another patient calls me from Philadelphia to ask whether she can take Cipro to prevent anthrax. "Not unless you live by a certain building in Boca Raton," I reply. Five minutes later she calls me back frantic--her neighbor is returning from Boca wheeling her possibly contaminated luggage down the hall. No," I groan. "No Cipro."

Bayer, the Cipro manufacturer, is stoking this frenzy and playing into public hysteria by promoting the drug. The drug reps drop off hundreds of sample cartons at my office without saying what for, though I can see them frowning when they hear me say, "I am not prescribing Cipro for anthrax."

Why Cipro? What the drug company is not telling either patient or doctor is that Cipro was originally tested as an alternative treatment for anthrax only for penicillin-allergic patients. Antibiotics have never been properly tested for prophylaxis, so Cipro's usefulness for prevention is speculative, though there is clearly some rationale for prophylaxing patients with close exposure. But doxycycline, a generic, is just as effective and costs one-tenth of what Cipro costs. A month's supply of Cipro costs more than $300; the equivalent amount of doxy is $32. In fact, there are multiple antibiotics available with similar efficacy, many of which are cheaper.

Which is not to say that any of these antibiotics should be prescribed. Prolonged use of Cipro, for example, without a real treatment target or reasonable endpoint, could cause significant side effects--including diarrhea, rash, colitis, gastrointestinal bleeding and insomnia--in a large population. Insomnia affects 5 percent of Cipro users, a fact that may be of interest to the drug rep for Ambien who follows the Cipro rep into my office to encourage me to prescribe more sleeping pills.

Another problem is drug resistance. Cipro, a milestone drug when it first appeared, has already lost some effectiveness because of excess use over the years and has largely been replaced by other drugs in its class, such as levofloxacin. I worry that continued unnecessary use will further cripple Cipro until people who really need it, for conditions ranging from the most minor kidney infection all the way to life-threatening cystic fibrosis, could find it useless.

Plus, if all the antibiotics stores are used up by a panicking though healthy public, people who really need the drugs for life-threatening conditions may find that they are out of luck. If antibiotic prophylaxis on a small scale does become necessary, then doxycycline or other relatively inexpensive antibiotics will represent a more cost-effective approach.

Most of all, I am concerned about a perpetuation of unsavory sales practices. In contrast to the altruism and heroism that rescue and healthcare workers have shown in the wake of the disaster of September 11, many of them working through the night without sleep or food, a drug company is attaching itself to the exact fear that is crippling us. The well-dressed Cipro rep whose territory includes my office and who plies me with "free lunches" is justifying the fear by pretending that there is a treatment for it. With the drug industry returning to what it knows best, parasitism, we find our dread exploited by a monolith that can't resist an opportunity to make more money.

Marc Seigal, a physician who is on the faculty at New York University, volunteered his services during the September 11 rescue effort.


-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), November 10, 2001.

Sounds bad.

If people do not hoard, and that is a big if, we will have enough medicine to handle the situation as it stands today. It is sad to think that Bayer may be exploiting the situation, but similar things have happened in the past. It seems that because everybody wants to hoard the stuff, the price will automatically go up. Simple supply and demand. Look at gas prices dropping lately when there is lower demand, housing is the same.

My question is why do we only seem to hear about Cipro on the news and not much about the alternatives? Seems the big 3 networks are letting us down again, but I should know by now that that is nothing new.

Talk to you later..

-- Bob in WI (bjwick@hotmail.com), November 10, 2001.

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