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Consumer Reports 'Best Buy Drug' for Enlarged Prostate Could Save Consumers Nearly $3,000 a Year
Date:6/15/2009

Flomax Is Case Study of How Costly Drugs Drive Up Health Costs

YONKERS, N.Y., June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a new report by Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs, the generic drug doxazosin is as safe and effective as the widely advertised drug Flomax for treating the symptoms of enlarged prostate, and could save consumers nearly $3,000 a year. Flomax was one of the 20 most commonly prescribed drugs in 2008.

Why doesn't the public know that a cheaper, equally effective and safe drug to treat the symptoms of enlarged prostate exists? In 2008, the manufacturer of Flomax, Boehringer Ingelheim, spent $115 million to advertise to consumers. Like other, older generic drugs, doxazosin, is not supported by a big advertising budget.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs recently analyzed a systematic review of more than 60 medical studies on drugs to treat the symptoms of enlarged prostate and identified doxazosin as its "Best Buy" because it's the most cost effective option. In this case, as is true with many other drug classes or drugs to treat a specific condition, the older, generic drug fared as well as the new brand drug and is considerably less expensive.

"Flomax is the new 'it' drug and that's a testament to the marketing muscle of Madison Avenue. It's a great example of how costly drugs are driving up health costs when there are other drugs that are equally safe and effective, such as the $10 a month generic doxazosin," says Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. "This drug has been on the market for decades and its safety and efficacy profile is well established," says Santa.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs, which rates more than 200 prescription drugs to treat more than 20 common conditions, is part of a larger initiative by the newly launched Consumer<
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SOURCE Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs
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