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Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi Plavix reps are on the top of my drug-rep shit list. Lets take a trip down memory lane a few years ago. A long time ago (2006 to be exact), there was generic Plavix on the market. While Plavix remained at $5/tablet, the generic was (if I remember correctly) $20/#100. I know it was a huge huge difference, like when Zocor went generic.
Why/how generic Plavix (clopidogrel) managed to hit the market is unimportant. What is important is that now you didn’t have to drop $150/month to get the drug. People had generic copays, cash patients could actually afford something that they couldn’t before, the public rejoiced and the clopidogrel flew off the shelves like Plan-B on prom night.
Fast forward a month. Clopidogrel is no longer available. Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi (herein known as douches) pulled out the legal card (ie: probably bribed the FDA) and got the affordable generic withdrawn from the market. If I remember correctly they somehow magically got a new indication which prolonged their patent (ie: probably bribed the FDA).
The short amount of time that clopidogrel was available wasn’t long enough for word to spread to the doctors that a generic was available.
Now here is why (to this day) I refuse to speak with Plavix reps, they totally left the pharmacies out to dry when questions were asked about Clopidogrel by the doctors. In other words, they didn’t inform doctors that there was a generic out for a short period of time. So doctors, in their infinite wisdom and yell-before-asking fashion, starting pointing fingers at the pharmacies.
We had doctors claim that we were illegally importing medications from Mexico/Canada. Doctors were making claims that pharmacies were selling illegal generics because “Plavix didn’t come in a generic”. Did the reps stop these rumors and set the doctor straight? FUCK NO. They just SAT THERE with smug little looks with their studies as doctors were throwing accusations around regarding pharmacies and where they get their drugs. At this time there was a bunch of bullshit regarding counterfeit drugs, so guess who lumped us all in with that clusterfuck. Trying to explain this whole FDA legal bullshit to a doctor or a patient is like trying to explain Medicare Part-D to a Phillipino home-health nurse.
Then the safety and WHY it was taken off the market was brought up. Patients and doctors couldn’t accept that it was yanked off the market due to legal douche-baggery, obviously the generic was ‘inferior’ and it ‘put their patients at risk’. Did the Plavix reps come to our aid? No, of course not. Anything to sell their fucking overpriced wanna-be aspirin even at the expense of the reputation of those who dispense it.
To this day I refuse to talk to Plavix reps for not stepping up and taking care of the shit-storm that their douchebag company caused at the expense of the pharmacists and the patients. You don’t want to be there for us, so in return I’m making damn sure that I’m not doing any favors for you.
Comment by RxDawg on 2009-02-27 09:14:58 -0800 #
I rember that. It was total bullshit. The media should of riped the FDA a new one when that happend. I’ve still never seen such a case where a viable generic came out and then yanked like that. Sad thing is they got away with it. That means that someone else is bound to try it again..
Comment by Glaxohater on 2009-02-27 10:10:43 -0800 #
What about GSK and their Relion/Walmart deal? What would motivate GSK to only sell a prescription product through one outlet? Tell them to stick it also.
Comment by RXJOE on 2009-02-27 11:35:06 -0800 #
Dude, love the blog, but you should have put in more details into this entry.
Like the reason why the generic was released, you know and I know that it was way too soon for patent expiration, which it wasn’t. BMS/Sanofi were basically retards and Apotex (who temporarily released the generic) were slick (and took a gamble). Basically what happened is that BMS signed an agreement that SOMEDAY (when their patent was to legally expire) they will allow Apotex to be the first generic manufacturer to have that much sought after 6-month exclusitivy upon first release where no other generic manufacturer can sell any generic Plavix. EXCEPT they fucked up and forgot to put anywhere in the contract that Apotex can’t release it right away–which is exactly what they ended up doing, simply because they could!! It’s fucking hilarious actually how stupid they were!!
The other thing is that the generic was NOT that cheap dude… it was only about 10-15% cheaper than Plavix because they were the only competition at the time and they knew they probably would not be selling it for too long, so they cashed in all their chips while they could!!
Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2009-02-27 19:31:39 -0800 #
ARE there Plavix reps? Are there ANY reps?
Comment by Joe on 2009-02-28 10:32:01 -0800 #
Pharmacists are the grundels of the health care sector, get over the fact that your not a doctor and learn to accept you went to six years of school to learn how to count by 5’s
Comment by DrugMonkey, Master Of Pharmacy on 2009-02-28 18:52:58 -0800 #
Actually, regular readers of my blog already know the story of why the life of clopidogrel was so short lived:
In a nutshell, BMS/sanofi-aventis got taken to the cleaners by the legal team of Apotex. It didn’t have a thing to do with the FDA. It did have a little to do with the FTC, but a good patent lawyer is worth more to a pharmaceutical manufacturer than a good R&D department, and BMS/sanofi had some pretty shitty patent lawyers, not to mention a CEO who made a pretty shitty decision and was rewarded with a bonus of $2 million dollars.
Of course the readers of my blog knew this over a year and a half ago. Just sayin’
Comment by pharmacy chick on 2009-03-01 14:25:16 -0800 #
I agree with you on the walmart deal, one of the things I investigated was the Relion product, its a 60 puff inhaler only. And since the regular puffs are 200, This is but a mere sample. It takes 3 and 1/3 Relion Ventolin inhalers to make up for the one the rest of the great unwashed (us) gets to give patients. And considering the way people use their albuterol halers, I can see people cruising thru 6 or more of those Relion samples every month.
Comment by jweinraub on 2009-03-01 19:24:34 -0800 #
This is sorta on the same page (and I believe TAP even spoke about this too), Treximet is the dumbest thing I ever heard of. Not only is it a gay anagram of Imitrex, not that Imitrex is off patent protection, the clever folks at GSK decided to make Imitrex with Aleve.
Why can’t doctors prescribe generic Imitrex and have them buy a bottle of Aleve (or even generic naproxen sodium) and voila you get instant Treximet, for probably 1000% cheaper.
Does GSK think people are that dumb?
When I first heard about Treximet coming out, GSK was already banking on this to be their next blockbuster drug. When I saw what was in it, I laughed.
I hope the douchebag that thought of this gets raped by a rabid coyote.
Comment by Steph on 2009-03-01 23:39:31 -0800 #
“Joe” is trolling and I think we should ignore him. Anyway, counting by fives–AaaaHAHAHAhaahA!
Comment by Crusty RPh on 2009-03-02 05:35:37 -0800 #
Yes there are Plavix reps out there, but they only visit you if you are on a P & T committee for an insurance company or Medicaid plan. They will suggest that you may be personally liable for a repeat CVAs etc if you do not allow Plavix on your formulary for 12 months prophylaxis. This has become a typical ploy of Phamaceutical Manufacturers, the addition of Humalogs,Lantus etc. Yes they are better, but are they worth 2 and 3 times the price. Like the artificial 30 day expiration date on insulins. Tied to this is the gross overuse of test strips(Fuck you Liberty Mutual and Wilford Brinley). One of my patients died 6 months ago, her sister brought in 15 x 50 unopened boxes of test strips from one of those “Mail Order Companies” recommended by her DR. In both cases, perfectly good product discarded at a time when we can’t afford to waist anything.
Comment by CPhTLink on 2009-03-02 14:09:53 -0800 #
we had a customer who’s copay dropped from $238 to $3.00 because of the generic launch.
then..when they yanked it off the market.. he got the shaft back into paying over $200 for that brand name
they should be ashamed.
Comment by rph3664 on 2009-03-02 17:22:33 -0800 #
How about this whole Ethex recall thing? I wonder how much of THAT was the doing of brands, especially Imdur, Nitrostat, and Micro-K, so we couldn’t get the generics any more.
Comment by troll hater on 2009-03-02 20:14:08 -0800 #
pharmacists/techs don’t even need to know how to count. they give us machines to do that. and calculators to do math with.
oh yeah, and making six figures while knowing your job is secure in this economy might kinda make six years of school worth it.
who wants to be a doctor anyway. not one person i’ve ever met in a pharmacy.
Comment by Simons on 2009-03-03 07:08:31 -0800 #
We hope that now all want to be involved in the medical system is improved, but not because they think the medical system come to this very least, we hope that these events will reduce the cost and benefit millions of people throughout the country.
Comment by Canpharm on 2009-03-03 12:36:25 -0800 #
Nice post TAP. Drug reps are blood sucking leeches feeding from gov health care and patients alike. I wish patients and doctors were more informed, they could really make a difference and save a lot of people a lot of money.
eg. In Canada they just released Tecta(pantoprazole magnesium). Reps are dumping samples in doctor offices to replace generic Pantaloc(pantoprazole sodium). The reps are telling doctors and pharmacist it’s the same price but it’s $24 more for a 3 month supply. At least pharmacists can check the price but doc’s have no idea and will write this fancy “new” drug b/c the rep tells them it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s all a joke. Drug reps shouldn’t be allowed to step one foot in a doc’s office.
ps Joe, in case you forgot from the last time someone told you, you’re still an idiot.
Comment by Shalom (R.Ph.) on 2009-03-08 12:21:08 -0700 #
I wonder what triggered this particular rant at this particular time. Did it perhaps have something to do with the release and subsequent disappearance of budesonide inhalation solution?
(As I understand it, Teva had reason to believe that they could invalidate Astra-Zeneca’s patent, so released their generic ahead of schedule. They then cut a deal with AZ such that if they withdrew their challenge to the patent, they would get the rights to market the drug overseas starting in 2010, provided they don’t try to rechallenge here in the USA until 2011. What this means is that in other markets, where prices are controlled, AZ gives up one year of limited profit, in exchange for two more years of bloodsucking profit here. Isn’t that nice of them.)
rph3664: The problem with Ethex is that they were turning out oversized tablets. Not a problem with prenatal vitamins, but they also make stuff like d-amphetamine, morphine etc. As it happens, this thing is screwing me personally. I work in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and Ethex was the only supplier of kosher-certified generic PNVs in the USA. Now that they’re gone, the only PNVs anyone will use around here are Natelle-EZ, Novanatal and Gesticare, all of which are brand name products and either not covered on their insurance, or else are reimbursed at damn near cost.
As for Joe, anyone who can’t tell the difference between “your” and “you’re” is irrelevant. (And WTF is a grundel? Is that even English?)
Comment by kevin on 2009-03-10 13:15:10 -0700 #
You hate Plavix reps but are running ads for Plavix?? Okay. It’s your site – you CAN control what’s on it.
Comment by wayspirit on 2009-03-10 15:12:05 -0700 #
Damn right we’re excited about our relatively safe salaries in the time of economic unrest. Rip on us all you want. We know yer just jealous.
Comment by Anonymous on 2009-03-31 11:39:07 -0700 #
Well.. a whopping 2.1 million fine paid by BMSQ outta teach em…..right?
Comment by Lenin on 2009-05-14 02:53:29 -0700 #
Lol what sort of favors do you do for them? Accept their shitty ass pens, notepads, official plavix dildos, and prescripton coupons?
Comment by Lenin on 2009-05-14 02:54:49 -0700 #
Dude that shit is hard, like if you lose count you gotta start all over again. Sometimes I even have to go back to counting to 2’s.
Comment by Valerie on 2009-07-13 17:32:30 -0700 #
It was that cheap…You dont know what you are talking about..I had this filled for my husband twice. At a cost of 10.00 for 90 days
Comment by joebond on 2009-09-12 18:37:13 -0700 #
kick plavix in the ass… 1/3 of patients in the U.S. taking plavix cannot benefit from the drug if they have the gene CYP2C19 which is in 30% of Americans. The results of the study, published in the Aug. 26, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), They won’t tell you that to protect $9 billion in annual sales. Plus this drug is 1/3 of the price in Canada..(not generic)..Americans are continually getting screwed in the ass with no K.Y. jelly by ALL drug cartels that own our politicians… p.s. The FDA, due to the current state of their regulations, has taken the position that virtually all shipments of
prescription drugs imported from a Canadian pharmacy by a U.S. consumer will violate the law.
Comment by pharmac nerd on 2009-11-25 15:39:06 -0800 #
dorks!!!!! Capitalism at it’s best. Get real and drop the bitterness. A bunch of BS.
Comment by PhilthePharmacist on 2009-12-03 20:52:00 -0800 #
it’s spelled filipino…..don’t ask me why
Comment by R th’ P on 2010-01-18 18:11:42 -0800 #
All you medical & semi-medical douche-bags can kiss my big fat patient’s ASS. All of you are crooks/scam artitsts/ slimeballs making your living off the misery of others. Whoa…could it be possible that any of you out there actually want to help your felllow man? NOT!
Comment by Steve on 2010-08-21 08:33:37 -0700 #
ALL THE POLITITIONS AND DRUG COMPANIES ARE ALL IN IT FOR ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY,,,,,,,THE ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR… THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT, ANY TIME THEY WANT,,,CAUSE THEY ARE ALL IN BED WITH EACH OTHER…JUST LIKE ILLEGAL DRUGS,,TAKE THE MONEY ASPECT OUT OF THE EQUATION,,,AND THERE WOULD NOT BE ALL THIS KILLING GOING ON…I REALIZE EVERYONE WANTS TO MAKE A PROFIT,,BUT HOW ABOUT LOWERING THE PROFIT MARGIN,,SO THAT ESPECIALLY THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO OTHER MEANS OF GETTING THE MEDICATIONS THAT THEY NEED,,HAVE TO BE PAYING 165 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR PLAVIX,,AND 225 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR ADVAIR,,AND SO ON…WE JUST CANNOT AFFORD IT ANYMORE,,AND THE MEDICARE DONUT HOLE IS A CROCK OF SHIT TOO….THANK YOU IN MY OPINION….WONT BE TO MUCH LONGER TO WHERE A PERSON WILL NOT EVEN BE ABLE TO AFFORD BREAD AND WATER…….