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Martin Lewis: A drugs bust – stop letting big pharmaceuticals rip you off!

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Martin Lewis: A drugs bust – stop letting big pharmaceuticals rip you off!

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MSE_EeshaMSE_Eesha MSE Staff
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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • edited 18 July 2018 at 4:10PM
    jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    edited 18 July 2018 at 4:10PM
    Any women who use the period pain product Feminax Ultra might want to pay a visit to a drug store if they go on holiday to the US. The comparable branded Aleve or unbranded naproxen is available for a few pence per dose instead of tens of pence. There's an irrelevant difference between the Feminax 250mg and the US over the counter 220mg.

    The culprit seems to be the more limited marketing authorisation in the UK vs the US.
  • Carrot007Carrot007 Forumite
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    > Look at the active ingredient - that's what matters.

    For some yes. For others the placebo effect is greater. (It does work).
  • FitzmichaelFitzmichael Forumite
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    Even pharmacists don't know. I was taking a prescription only medicine (OAP, no charge) but I noticed the same item with almost identical packaging (same pharmaceutical company) on the open shelves (over the counter or pharmacy only, can't remember) at less than half the charge. I used the (Lloyds) pharmacy regularly and asked the pharmacist why. He said the ingredients would be different, but I'd already checked they were identical (I didn't know about the PL no.) He looked, was astonished and called his colleague at another nearby Lloyds, who was also astonished. He said he guessed nobody at HQ had clocked on to this, as buying, holding and delivering 2 products would be more costly and the price they were refunded by the NHS for the prescription only pack would be less than the price they charged for the other one, which he could equally supply for the prescription, as it was the contents that were prescribed, not the pack. I don't think I'm ultra-bright, so I heaved an inward sigh.
  • edited 25 July 2018 at 11:05AM
    DelessexDelessex Forumite
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    edited 25 July 2018 at 11:05AM
    Boots indigestion relief (peppermint or aniseed) 500ml: They'll tell you this is their version of Gaviscon liquid but cheaper at £6.29. What they DON'T tell you is that if you visit your local chemist and ask for PEPTAC 500ml (also available in peppermint & aniseed) you'll get exactly the same product for about £3.50! You'll need to ask for it by name as its never on display (because they'd rather sell you Gaviscon at double the price).
  • I am allergic to Ibuprofen and find Paracetamol, on its own, ineffective for pain relief. Anadin Extra, on the other hand, which is Aspirin, Paracetamol and Caffeine, for me, does the trick.
    For years I've been able to buy Supermarket's own brand, generic versions, with exactly the same formulation, at about 1/5th of the cost. In the last six to twelve months all the supermarkets and independent outlets have stopped selling their own versions, and now I can only buy branded Anadin Extra. Is this because of pressure from the manufacturers (in which case I think the Monopolies Commission should take action) or for some other reason?
  • reduxredux Forumite
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    Surely this thread should be about discussions arising from Martin Lewis's comments on drug prices, not about promoting anti-vaccine scepticism and further out anti-medical propaganda, which may be breaking the forum rules to do with giving medical advice.
This discussion has been closed.

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