While talking with an oncologist I was asking about the new drug Reclast being offered to help with bone loss patients. It's being promoted as a once a year treatment alternative to other drugs that are administered monthly or even more frequently. The one I'm familiar with is Zometa, commonly using with cancer that's moved into the bones. He laughed and said he interfaces with Medicare about treatment options and they are not paying for Reclast. The reason? Reclast and Zometa (and Aclasta, btw) are exactly the same drug, Zoledronic acid, just repackaged under a different brand and prescribed once a year for osteoporosis. Oh... and the price for Reclast is much higher too.
So what do you get for the more expensive version of the same drug? Different branding, packaging, different web sites, additional studies, FDA approvals, miles of paperwork, and lots of TV commercials and magazine ads touting a new drug... all so osteoporosis patients can get the exact same drug, less frequently, at a higher price.
It shows you just how utterly ridiculous and out of control our health care and drug company systems are. And we wonder why our health care costs and health insurance premiums are skyrocketing out of site.