Thursday, March 12, 2009

Complete garbage

GlaxoSmithKline, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, has a drug called Imitrex, otherwise known as sumatriptan, for the alleviation of migraine pain. It works remarkably well, as do other medications in its class, known as the 'triptans'. For years, GSK pushed Imitrex as superior to all the other triptans even though the differences are very minimal in most cases. But they do this to push the market share of their product in order to recoup the costs of developing it before the patent runs out. As long as they are not blatantly lying, and only marketing to healthcare professionals capable of separating the wheat from the chaff, I have no problem with that. (Marketing directly to consumers is a different story, but a topic too complex to cover in one post.)

It is exasperating to then see them turn around and start saying that their product is lame as soon as it loses its patent and starts being threatened by generic competition.

I saw an ad on TV tonight for a new product from GSK called Treximet. They went on and on about how superior it is to Imitrex. So what is this miraculous substance GSK is pushing? The same thing as Imitrex, but they've added naproxen, an antiinflammatory akin to Advil.

Of course it works better at relieving headache pain. It'd be the same as giving someone Imitrex and telling them to take a couple Advil with it. But I can guarantee it'd be a HELL of a lot cheaper.

What a complete bunch of garbage.

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