Drug Ads Can Cost You

You may have heard these lines from recent television ads, "Ask your doctor about Celebrex."

"Have a heart to heart with your doctor about your risk, and about Lipitor …"

"Talk to your doctor and go to Cymbalta.com …"

Thanks to television ads, many drugs are household names.
And the four-billion-plus dollars a year that drug companies are spending in direct-to-consumer ads is paying off.

Consumer Reports National Research Center finds one in five people who take a prescription "have asked their doctor to prescribe a drug they learned about from advertising." And most of them said their doctors did.

Dr. John Santa with Consumer Reports explains, "What the ads don't tell you is that newer medications are often no more effective or safer than older ones."

And frequently there are better options at a fraction of the cost.

Consumer Reports identifies Best Buy drugs for treating type 2 diabetes, asthma, and dozens of other conditions.

Dr. Santa says, "To earn a Best Buy designation, a drug must be at least as effective and safe as others in its class, based on an independent review of research."

And it often costs less. Take prescription Celebrex for joint and muscle aches. At $139 a month, it's a pricey pain reliever compared to generic ibuprofen, a Best Buy drug that costs just $4 a month.

Dr. Santa says, "Many of Consumer Reports Best Buy drugs are generics. We've seen in our surveys that more than 40% of people have concerns or misconceptions about generics, but they shouldn't."

So the next time you need a prescription, think twice before asking for the one you're seeing advertised.

Consumer Reports says discount-drug programs at stores like Kmart, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens offer great savings. A month's supply of many of the Best Buy drugs is just four dollars. If you want more information on Best Buy drugs, or you want to check to see if your prescription is the best choice, go to our website.

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