Merck got handed its fanny today as Vytorin demonstrated no benefit over generic simvastatin in reducing plague in the carotid arteries. Merck knew the repercussions of this trial - and this likely was the reason its reporting was delayed: profit.
Stupid, really. Drug companies, in dire straights to rectify their relationship with the public, sided with their short-term monetary gains rather than improve their long-term public perception of the industry.
And they got burned.
So now, we are left to wonder, what was that gain compared to generic simvastatin?
Turning to our handy-dandy CostCo cost analyzer, we find that a 30-day supply of Vytorin 10/20 (one of the lower-dose sizes), cost a whopping $97.17. Compare that to generic simvastatin 20 mg, at $5.82 - nearly 17 times the cost.
But that's not all. Let's not forget the cost for your time to call your doctor and change the prescription.
Or the costs involved at going to the doctor's office in person and getting a new prescription written. Costs that both you and your doctor have to absorb. Costs that cut dearly into your precious 7-minute primary-care visit.
And this cost is not inconsequential, especially when we realize that there were "1 million prescriptions written for it weekly."