Drug ads can cost you - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Drug ads can cost you

By Emily Neubauer - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

Wausau (WAOW)-- Drug companies spend billions of dollars a year on TV and print ads so you'll ask your doctor to prescribe their drug.  And it turns out, that's just what people are doing.  But Consumer Reports says that could be costing you plenty.

We've all heard these common commercial phrases.

"Ask your doctor about Celebrex."

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

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.  

Reportedly, 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.

"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 dollars a month, it's a pricey pain reliever compared to generic ibuprofen, a drug that costs just four dollars a month. 

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


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