Obesity Costs Billions

The 9 Hidden Health Costs of Being Overweight

Do You Know the True Financial Costs of Being Overweight?

The hidden health costs of being overweight

None of us can see into the future. However, as the saying goes “forewarned is forearmed”. Since we know what health conditions are associated with being overweight, we can develop a sense of the future health costs of being overweight. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases lists nine health problems linked to being overweight and obese. We’ll walk through each, one-by-one.

Throughout April 2019, we’re going to be examining the financial aspects of weight gain and weight loss. A lot of websites will talk about future health conditions related to weight loss, but not many translate this directly into dollars and cents. Over the next month, we’ll be looking at cost-effective weight loss programs and ways that you can lose weight for no cost, or even make money with some creative programs. 

Thrifty Patient is focused on bringing you news related to how to save money in healthcare. To that end, we feel we should make a clear argument about the financial benefits to weight loss. Just keep in mind that Thrifty Patient doesn’t provide medical advice and you should always talk to your physician about any concerns you have regarding your weight.

How Can I Tell if I’m Overweight?

Unfortunately, knowing if you’re overweight isn’t as simple as just stepping on a scale and counting the pounds. You’ll want to understand what your BMI is. A great calculator / chart we’ve discovered is on the website Braceability. All you need is your height and weight and you can see if you’re underweight, optimal, overweight, or obese.

However, it gets a little more complicated if you’re very muscular, very tall, have a wide chest, or have other body dimensions that complicate the situation. As luck would have it, Braceability has you covered there too. Scroll down further in their article and it’ll give you instructions on how to determine your weight range.

Health Conditions & Costs Associated with Being Over-Weight via
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

1. Type II Diabetes – $13,700.00

Diabetic Supplies

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease. When you have type 2 diabetes your body stops responding properly to insulin. Insulin is a chemical released by your pancreas that functions like a key. This key allows muscle, fat, and a few other tissues to ‘suck up’ sugar from the blood and use it for energy. Without insulin our blood fills with sugar with leads to all sorts of problems.

 

Connection to Obesity: The connection between weight and the risk for diabetes is well-known and well-researched. Many reputable studies have pointed towards a connection between fat tissue, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes1.

The Cost of Type II Diabetes: As with many of the diseases we’ll be looking at, diabetes and the true health costs of being overweight goes far beyond any dollar amount. The CDC reports that diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the US in 2015 and that the average yearly medical expenditure was $13,7002.

2. High Blood Pressure – $2000.00

Blood Pressure Cuff

High Blood Pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious conditions that can lead to many medical emergencies such as heart disease, strokes, aneurysms, and even death. It is another prime example of the health costs of being overweight. According to the CDC, 75 million (1 in 3!) American adults have high blood pressure!3 Treating high blood pressure is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the US. Being hypertensive also complicates other health issues. While new treatments are emerging all the time, it’s better to avoid the problem entirely, if you can, through lifestyle modification and weight loss.

 

Connection to Obesity: A classic study on cardiovascular health, The Framingham Heart study, came to the estimate that 26% of cases of hypertension in men and 28% in women could be connected to obesity. An explanation for this is that, the excess fat squashes our arteries and veins, so that heart has to work harder to push out the blood. Overtime this leads to chronic hypertension4. If you feel you’re obese and suffering from hypertension it’s so important that you speak with your physician. 

 

The Cost of Hypertension: The CDC states that in 2011, the total cost of treating hypertension was $46 billion dollars between medications, health services, and missed days of work3. Estimates put the cost of care for hypertension at between $600 and $2000 annually per patient5.

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3. Heart Disease and Stroke – $200,000.00

Heart disease is a general term used to describe several different ailments. With hypertension we saw that the excess fat compressed arteries from the outside. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women and about half of all Americans have a risk factor for heart disease, according to the CDC7. What are the CDC-listed heart disease risk factors? Diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, excess alcohol use. Feels like a common theme huh? Seriously, the stats on heart disease are frightening and it’s worth a read.

 Connection to Obesity:  Think of heart disease as the gunk inside of the arteries that can clog up the pipes. This leads to enough problems by itself, but when the gunk dislodges it can result in serious events like a stroke.

 The Cost of Heart Disease & Strokes: The CDC estimates that heart disease results in over $200 billion each year. Estimating an exact cost for heart disease is complicated, because how the disease can progress is complex, and some therapies are more costly than others. Some findings in the state of NY in 1997 had the expense of heart disease at over $200,000 per individual8! If you’re the cost-conscious type, then both the financial and health implications of obesity-drive heart disease should scare you.

4. Certain Types of Cancer – $$$

Connection to Obesity: According to cancer.net, as your body puts on increased weight, it starts producing more of certain types of hormones. Cancer is not one of the health costs of being overweight that many people think of. In fact, it surprised this writer when first reading about the connection. Inflammation is also associated with increased weight gain.  Research has shown that these changes are oncogenic. This means that they create environments where certain types of cancer can grow.

 The Cost of Cancer: With cancer we’re not going to try and put a price on all the damage cancer does. Suffice to say, treatments are expensive and go far beyond any specific dollar amount. The mental, social, and physical price of cancer can’t be under-stated.

5. Sleep Apnea – $6,366.00

Sleep Apea. Unless you or a loved one suffers from it, few people think about it. As you’ll soon see, it’s a great example of the hidden health costs of being overweight. WebMD defines three types of sleep apnea: Obstructive, Central, and Complex10. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with weight gain. About 29 million US adults are anticipated to have obstructive sleep apnea. With 23.5 million of the cases being undiagnosed11. Sleep apnea can impact sleep and result in all the negative side effects that reduced sleep can lead to.

Connection to Obesity: As fat builds up around the neck and on the chest, it compresses airways. If you read about the connection between weight and hypertension, you can think of sleep apnea as the airway version of that. This is an example of several truly hidden health costs of being overweight.

The Cost of Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea might not seem like a serious issue, but the results of lack of sleep and lack of productivity cost the US economy about $6,366 per person11


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6. Osteoarthritis – $4,040.00

Severe Osteoarthritis of the Hip

According to the arthritis foundation, Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It most often affects the knees, hips, lower back and neck. Obesity isn’t the only cause of Osteoarthritis, but it is a cause that can’t be ignored. If you’ll suffer from any of the health costs of being overweight, there’s a good chance it’ll be Osteoarthritis. 

Connection to Obesity: As increased weight bears down on the joints; the cartilage gets worn down by the extra pressure. In addition, researchers have found that obesity leads to a low-grade inflammatory state which also hastens the wearing-down of joints13.

The Cost of Osteoarthritis: Before we get into the cost of OA, it should be noted that we’re not going to try and tease apart OA costs caused by obesity from those caused by wear and tear. It’s very much a chick-and-egg type of question. Osteoarthritis costs the US $305 billion annually according to the CDC14. This amounts to extra medical costs of $2,117 per person with OA and complications costing $4,040 in less pay per adults14.

 


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7. Fatty Liver Disease – $1,700.00

NASH is stage 1

There are different types of liver diseases. Some of these are associate with alcoholism, but obesity is known to be linked to a different type of liver disease – known as Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis or Fatty Liver Disease (NASH). The MAYO clinic estimates that over 80 million Americans have NASH15

Connection to Obesity: When our liver cells store up too much fat, we run the risk of developing fatty liver disease. As our BMI increases, the fat in our blood and that accumulates in our liver increases. This directly leads to an increased risk NASH16.

The Cost of Fatty Liver Disease: According to research in 2016, the economic cost of NASH in the US is $103 Billion or $1,613 per patient17. At over a billion dollars annually, this is actually one of the smaller health costs of being overweight – at least financially. Still, I’d rather not have to suffer from NASH and I certainly don’t have the extra $1,700 to pay for treatment of a debilitating disease. 

8. Kidney Disease – $2,633.00

Swollen Dam

Our kidneys act as filters for our blood. Wastes, toxins, and extra fluid gets filtered out and removed via our urine. Along with working as a filter, our kidneys also help us regulate our blood pressure, help us activate vitamin D, and help make red blood cells. When our kidneys can’t do these things as well due to damage, doctors call it chronic kidney disease or CKD.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 7 people have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), with the majority of the 30 million people who have it, not even realizing it. The CDC also lists it as the 9th leading cause of death in the US18. It’s not a naturally connection to think of kidney disease as one of the health costs of being overweight.

Connection to Obesity: Being overweight leads to CKD in a number of ways. In 2017, the Canadian Journal of Medicine identified how obese individuals end up overworking their kidneys19. As body weight increases, so too do metabolic demands and this results in more pressure in the kidneys. Think of this as a river that passes through a dam. As more rain falls the river swells and the pressure on the dam increases. Eventually that pressure could damage the dam if it goes on too long. This is another one of the hidden health costs of being overweight. Other ways to develop CKD are if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Three other diseases closely connected to obesity.

The Cost of Kidney Disease: The yearly cost to Medicare to treat CKD $79 Billion. This amounts to $2,633.33 for each of the 30 million with CKD. Note that this cost doesn’t factor in how many of those people are on private insurance. Since Medicare tends to pay lower rates, we’re probably spending far more then $2633 per patient to treat kidney disease.  

9. Pregnancy Problems – Complex Social and Financial Costs

This is one of the most complex complications to arise from obesity, since it involves the combined health of two individuals. Obesity can make it more difficult for you to conceivex. It can put you and the baby at risk of problems from high blood pressure like eclampsia or pre-eclampsia. It can also increase risk of gestational diabetes and sleep apnea.

A 2015 report from Reuters states that half of U.S. women are overweight during pregnancy. In 2010 (the most recent date we could find) about 9.8% of women between 15 and 44 years old we’re pregnant. That’s about 35.6% of women or 55,892,000 women. Half of that means 27.9 million women were overweight during their pregnancy.

Connection to Obesity: Carrying too much weight can result in the problems we’ve listed above, like having high blood sugar (gestational diabetes), high blood pressure (Eclampsia), and issues like sleep apnea. However, in addition to these issues it can also result in things like macrosomia, stillbirth, and premature birth.

The Cost of Pregnancy Issues: Nothing signifies the physical, mental, spiritual, social, and financial pillars of health better then this issue. When we talk about the health costs of being overweight, we don’t always just mean financial costs. The costs of obesity during pregnancy goes far beyond any price tag we can put on it. If you do look at just annual cost, researchers estimate it totally about 1.8 billion dollars without considering any of the long-term costs20,21.

Zulresso, First Drug to Treat Post Partum Depression

Breaking News: FDA approves Zulresso as the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. Read More By clicking below! 


Zulresseo

References:

1.      Kahn, BB., Smith., U., Oct. 2016., ‘Adipose tissue regulates insulin sensitivity: role of adipogenesis, de novo lipogenesis and novel lipids’ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joim.12540 Journal of Internal Medicine
2.      Centers for Disease control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/deaths-cost.html
3.      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm#4
4.      Dr. Delaney, Jaymee., Hypertension and Obesity: How Weight-Loss Affects Hypertension https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/hypertension-and-obesity-how-weight-loss-affects-hypertension/
5.      Thakar, Subrata ‘Price pressure: Hypertensive patients spend nearly $2,000 more per year‘ https://www.cardiovascularbusiness.com/topics/hypertension/price-pressure-hypertensive-patients-spend-nearly-2000-more-year
6.      Jadoon, Khalid., Tan, Garry., O’Sullivan, Saorise., ‘A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study’ American Society for Clinical Investigation 2017
7.       https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm
8.      ‘The Cost of Heart disease and Stroke’. https://www.orau.gov/cdcynergy/web/ba/Content/activeinformation/resources/Cost_of_HD.pdf
9.      ‘Obesity, Weight, and Cancer Risk’, https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/prevention-and-healthy-living/obesity-and-cancer/obesity-weight-and-cancer-risk
10.   ‘Sleep Apnea’ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631 WebMD
11.   ‘New Study Finds Massive Cost of Undiagnosed and Untreated Sleep Apnea’ http://www.fundairing.com/journal/2016/8/29/new-study-finds-massive-cost-of-undiagnosed-and-untreated-sleep-apnea Sep 2016
12.   ‘What is Osteoarthritis?’ https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.php
13.   King, Lauren., Anandacoomarasamy, Ananthila Obesity & Osteoarthritis’ Aug 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788203/ Indian Journal of Medical Research
14.   CDC ‘The Cost of Arthritis in US Adults’ https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/cost.htm
15.   Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567 MAYO Clinic
16.   Dr. Lee, Dennis., Dr. Marks., Jay., ‘Body Fat, the Silent Killer’ https://www.medicinenet.com/obesity_body_fat_the_silent_killer/views.htm
17.   ZM, Younossi., Dm Blissett., R, Blissett, M, Stepanova., Y, Younossi., A, Racila., S, Hunt., R, Beckerman., ‘The economic and clinical burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the United States and Europe.’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27543837 US National Library of Medicine.
18.   CDC ‘Chronic Kidney disease Basics’ https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/basics.html
19.   Kovesdy, Csabam Furth, Susan, Zoccali, Carmine.,  ‘Obesity and Kidney Disease’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433675/ Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease
20.   Mayo Clinic., May 2018, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-obesity/art-20044409
21.   Lenoir-Wijnkoop, Irene., Van Der Beek, Eline., Garssen, Johan., Nuijten, Mark., Uauy, Ricardo., May 2015., ‘Health economic modeling to assess short-term costs of maternal overweight, gestational diabetes, and related macrosomia – a pilot evaluation’ Frontiers in Pharmacology
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FDA Announces Zulresso, 1st Drug for Postpartum Depression

Breaking News: Zulresso announced as the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. At the Thrifty Patient, we believe in Five Pillars of Health – financial, social, mental, spiritual, physical, and social. Postpartum depression touches upon all five and is a distressing multi-generational issue which effects so many new mothers.


Blood Testing for your Healthy Well Being

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a serious and debilitating condition that impacts 1 in 7 women. That’s about 7.8 million pregnant women every year.

FDA announces Postpartum Depression Drug Zulresso

Postpartum depression symptoms include – feeling unusually depressed, tired, irritable, detached, or angry throughout the day. Experiencing, a sinking feeling or an anxiety that you “just can’t shake”. It can also impact a mother’s ability to bond with their baby. There’s also a feeling of shame often associated with postpartum depression. Many women feel that they shouldn’t be feeling depressed following pregnancy or the birth of their child(ren). For many this makes postpartum depression even harder to talk about. Click here for more signs and symptoms of postpartum depression.

The cause of postpartum depression is complex and not precisely known. What researchers and physicians do know is that it’s caused by a combination of physiological, hormonal, mental, and social stressors.

For a long time psychologists have known that both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ events can stress our bodies. A questionnaire called the Social Readjustment Rating Scale was even developed by University of Washington School of Medicine researchers Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe that takes into account both positive and negative life events. While there are some questions about the scale (each individual is unique in how they react to live events) the point is an important one. Pregnancy, and all of the social, physical, and mental implications of it cause stress. For 1 in 7 women this stress may contribute to postpartum depression.


Current Postpartum Depression Treaments

Until now, doctors have treated postpartum depression just like other forms of depression – with antidepressants, psychotherapy, and emphasizing social support. In addition, there has been some promising research regarding the employment of exercise, diet, massage, and mindfulness. However, until now there haven’t been any medications developed specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. In addition, treatment has traditionally been complicated by the fact that some antidepressants can be passed to the infant through breast milk, while others are simply ineffective. With the development of Zulresso, there may finally be a drug that works better then current drug treatments, but without the downside that the current anti-depressants carry.

What is Zulresso (Brexanolone)?

Zulresso (common name Brexanolone) is a very interesting drug developed by Sage Therapeutics that targets and modifies how the body’s GABAA receptors work. The exact mechanism of action is unknown and still being studied. The FDA reports that they believe it is a positive allosteric interaction acting upon the GABAA receptors. Exactly how this impacts the body is a bit complex, and it might be easier to simply compare it to another drug. For example, Ambien (Zolpidem) works in a similar manner.

However what we do know is that Zulresso is a synthetic version of a hormone, allopregnanolone, that women naturally make during pregnancy. This hormone, is a derivative of progesterone. Interestingly, Allopregnanolone levels increase during pregnancy, but then dramatically decrease after giving birth – more evidence pointing to the hormone component of postpartum depression.

For more information about this exciting new drug, visit the FDA’s page featuring the announcement or if you or a loved one is interested in applying for the Zulresso study, you should speak with your physician about Sage Therapeutics’ REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) program. You can find out more about this program in the FDA announcement.


8 Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Doctor’s Visit! (And Maybe Even Make Some Money!): Read on The Thrifty Patient

We’re hoping the clinical trials of Zulresso show that it’s a safe and effective drug that’ll help millions of women and their families. If you’re interested in learning more about postpartum Depression, take a look at Sage Therapeutics’ new informational website. It’s dedicated to spreading awareness about the impact of postpartum depression.

Losartan Recall

Losartan Recall Expanded by 40 Lots

Tainted Losartan Recalled Due to Presence of Carcinogen

The FDA has announced a voluntary recall of Losartan Potassium by Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging, LLC. This recall is an expansion of the earlier recall and due to the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called NMBA – a potential carcinogen.

Losartan Recall
Image Source: FDA.gov

What is Losartan?

Losartan is a commonly prescribed medication for high blood pressure. While it didn’t make our cut for the 10 most common drugs prescribed in the US, it’s not far behind at #12.

Want to Stay Updated on FDA Recalls the Moment they Happen?
We show you five ways to instantly learn about recalls here!

Why this Losartan Recall?

Trace amounts of a chemical called NMBA was found by the manufacturers, Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc in the Losartan. NMBA is known as a nitrosamine, which is a carcinogen linked to esophageal and gastric cancers. In previous reports the FDA has indicated that the level of risk to individual patients is very low, but it’s still high enough to warrant the recall.

How to Tell if Your Losartan was Recalled

You should head to the FDA’s website and look at their newest list of Losartan recalls. The latest recall was this expansion to 40 repacked lots. Just keep in mind that this is an expansion of the previous Losartan recall that’s been ongoing for several months.

generic vs brand name

Generic Vs. Brand Name: The Shocking Price Difference of the 10 Most Commonly Prescribed Medications

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Generic Vs. Brand Name?

This question has very real financial impacts. Always ask your doctor if you can take a generic version instead of the brand name. The savings could be HUGE! We break down the math comparing generic drugs like Linisopril to their brand name counterparts.

Generic Vs. Brand Name: An Expensive Decision
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Here are the 10 most commonly prescribed drugs in the USA, with their brand name, generic name (If there is one) and the cost of each. This pricing is based on Drugs.com data and the Drugs.com discount card. We highly recommend you get this card, or another prescription card, as it can result in HUGE savings on medicine.

 

Drug Recalls Should Never be Ignored – 5 Simple Ways to Learn About Drug Recalls

 

A few things before we start looking generic vs brand name prices.

  1. The size of the pill will affect the price, 10mg will be more expensive then 20mg.
  2. The place you get the drug will affect the price, we hope to have some future articles about the best places to get common drugs. Right now all of these prices are based on info from drugs.com
  3. These prices are based on the cash price if you have insurance the prices will be different, or maybe even zero.
  4. Not all places take drug cards like the drugs.com prescription card. We’re working on an article about these prescription cards and hope to have it up shortly!

1. Lisinopril

Brand Name(s): Zestril, Prinivil, 5mg tablets
Prices: Zestril ($13.97 / pill ), Prinivil ($1.60 / pill

Generic Name: Lisinopril 5mg tablets
Price: $0.30 / pill

Common Use: Hypertension

These prices are based on a 90 pill bottle. As you can see, there’s massive savings using Lisinopril ($0.30) over the brand name counterparts. Zestril is a 4633% markup.

 

2. Levothyroxine

Generic Name: Levothyroxine, 0.05mg tablet
Price: $0.315 / tablet

Brand Names: Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid 0.05mg tablets
Prices: Synthroid ($1.02), Levoxyl ($0.91), Unithroid ($0.61)

Common Use: Hypothyroidism

These prices are based on a 90 and 100 tablet bottles. The jump up in price from generic Levothyroxine to brand name isn’t as striking as we saw with Lisinopril, but it’s still at 218% jump from Levothyroixine to Synthroid. Or another way to look at it like a jump from $31.50 to $100.20 for a bottle of 100 tablets. That’s a $70 difference!

 

3. Atorvastatin

Brand Name(s): Lipitor, 10mg tablets
Prices: $13.97 / tablet

Generic Name: Atorvastatin, 10mg tablets
Price: $0.30 / pill

Common Use: High Cholesterol

It’s ridiculous how much the price jumps up for Atorvastatin’s brandname counterpart Lipitor. You’re looking at a 4,5557% increase to treat a condition that impacts 102 million American adults.

 

4. Metformin

Brand Name(s): Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, 500mg tablets

Prices: Glucophage ($2.06 / tablet),
Glucophage XR ($1.14 / tablet), Glumetza ($53.83 / tablet), Fortamet($36.83 / tablet)

Generic Name: Metformin, 500mg tablets
Price: $0.25 / tablet

Common Use: Type II Diabetes

These prices are based off of a 60 or 100 tablet supply with 500mg tablets. As with Lisinopril, it’s striking how much the price can vary and it’s clear that the drug manufacturers are expecting people to have insurance to cover this. The difference between the prices of generic vs. brand name might be the difference between treated and untreated diabetes. If you’re interested in saving money on drugs like Metformin, remember to talk to your doctor about alternatives and not all of these listed drugs may be appropriate for you.

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5. Simvastatin

Brand Name(s): Zocor, 5mg tablets
Prices: $3.90 / tablet

Generic Name: Simvastatin, 5mg tablets
Price: $0.55 / tablet

Common Use: High Cholesterol

These prices are based off of a 30 tablet supply. The difference between the generic and brand name prices 609%.

 

6. Omeprazole

Brand Name(s): Prilosec OTC, 20mg tablets
Prices: $0.93 / capsule

Generic Name: Omeprazole, 20mg tablets
Price: $0.76 / capsule

Common Use: GERD

These prices are based off of a 28 tablet supply. Omeprazole is one of the rare drugs where the brand name price is fairly close to the generic price.

 

7. Amlodipine

Brand Name(s): Norvasc, 2.5mg tablets
Prices: $6.91 / tablet

Generic Name: Amlodipine, 2.5mg tablets
Price: $0.45 / tablet

Common Uses: Angina, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure

These prices are based off of a 90 tablet supply. The increase in price from the generic vs brand name is 1,435%! Totally ridiculous.

 

8. Metoprolol

Brand Name(s): Lopressor, 50mg tablets
Prices: $2.49 / tablet

Generic Name: Metoprolol, 50mg tablets
Price: $0.64 / tablet

Common Uses: Angina, Heart Attack

These prices are based on 100 tablet supplies. For what it treats, the jump isn’t as high as what we saw with Amlodipine. Still, going from generic to brand name is a 289% increase!

 

9. Acetaminophen

Brand Name(s): Tylenol, 325mg tablets
Prices: $0.26/ tablet

Generic Name: Acetaminophen, 325mg tablets
Price: $0.17 / tablet

Common Uses: Fever, Pain

A common drug found in medicine cabinets across the country. These numbers are based on 50 tablet supplies and it’s the first drug on the list that can be obtained without a prescription. The generic vs. brand name price difference is not as striking in this case. 

 

10. Albuterol

Brand Name(s): Proventil, 6.7g aerosol
Prices: $13.69 / gram

Generic Name: Albuterol, 90mL aerosol
Price: $0.34 / mL

Common Uses: COPD

The comparison here is a little skewed because the units given arn’t the same. If you’re having trouble paying for Proventil, you may want to check out this site for coupons and options.

These are only the 10 most common drugs that we looked at today. If you do find yourself needing one of these very common prescriptions, then take some time to compare the generic vs. brand name prices. Also, make sure to bring it up at your next doctor’s visit – an empowered and assertive patient is the best patient! In future posts we’ll compare pharmacy prices beyond drugs.com and the best places to get your generic prescriptions filled.