Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Apr 2007

Slashing the High Cost of Prescription Drugs

No organization has battled high drug prices more aggressively than the Life Extension Foundation. Now, with the opening of the Life Extension Pharmacy, members can reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions while saving as much as 80% on their prescription drug outlays.

By William Faloon and Saul Kent.

 
William Faloon
 
Saul Kent

There has never been an organization that has battled high drug prices more aggressively than the Life Extension Foundation.

Back in the early 1980s, Life Extension was the first to suggest that Americans buy their drugs from countries where these same medications cost a fraction of the price. We went on national TV talk shows, ran full-page newspaper ads, and even set up the FDA Museum to expose how Americans were being defrauded by a monopolistic drug cartel protected by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA retaliated by raiding our facilities, seizing our property, and intimidating everyone with whom we interacted, including a radio station sympathetic to our cause.

The FDA’s 15-year criminal investigation resulted in our being indicted with the possibility of facing life in prison. When the US Attorney’s Office dismissed the indictment, the FDA tried to convince other government agencies to find some reason to jail us so that we could not keep telling Americans to buy their medications offshore.

Free-Market Forces Temporarily Prevail

By 1999, it appeared that our nearly two-decade campaign had succeeded. Just about every media source was featuring stories about how Americans could buy their prescription drugs for far less money in countries like Canada. The Internet made it easy to locate pharmacies that would ship lower-priced drugs. Even Congress attacked the FDA for interfering with elderly people who tried to import lower-cost prescription drugs. As a result, millions of Americans began ordering their medications from other countries.

Regrettably, pharmaceutical company influence continues to pressure federal agencies to seize lower-cost prescription drugs from other countries. The FDA’s website (www.fda.gov) is filled with all kinds of horror stories about the purported dangers of drugs obtained from outside the United States.

Consumers Don’t Have to Tolerate This Abuse Anymore

The outrageous cost of prescription drugs is forcing some people to go broke paying for their medicines. Those with insurance are stunned to see sharply increased drug copays and policy premiums. The Medicare prescription drug bill has so many exclusions that relatively few people benefit.1-3

Consumers no longer have to tolerate this pillaging of their pocketbooks. Our nearly three-decade investigation into the FDA-protected drug industry has enabled us to establish the Life Extension Pharmacy.

While the Life Extension Pharmacy will provide its clients with unique lifesaving services, its primary mission is to permanently tear down the high drug costs that are bankrupting America.

Absolute Lowest Prices

For a variety of bureaucratic reasons, Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs. While the Life Extension Pharmacy has to comply with these same burdensome regulations, we have identified more efficient (but still legal) ways of ensuring that our clients obtain the same drugs, but at sharply reduced prices.

Even if you think you are already paying low generic rates, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the rock-bottom prices offered only by the Life Extension Pharmacy. In fact, for many drugs, you will find Life Extension Pharmacy prices are lower than what they sell for in Canada!

Stop Overpaying for Cardiac Drugs

Tens of millions of Americans take “statin” drugs to lower heart attack and stroke risk. However, few consumers are aware that patents have expired on drugs like Zocor® and Pravachol®. Instead of passing the savings on to their customers, major discount pharmacy chains have chosen to pocket most of the profits on generic versions of these drugs. All that is about to change.

The Life Extension Pharmacy offers simvastatin (the generic name for Zocor®) and pravastatin (the generic name for Pravachol®) at the super-low prices shown in Table 1 below.

TABLE 1

 

Walgreens price

Drugstore.com price

Life Extension Pharmacy price

Simvastatin
20 mg
90 tablets

$360.69

$353.95

$20.16

Provastatin
40 mg
90 tablets

$347.89

$252.00

$36.96

 

As you can clearly see, you can enjoy huge savings compared to what you may now be paying for the identical generic drug.

If you are taking brand-name drugs like Lipitor®, the amount of money you can save by switching to a generic statin is astronomical. For example, it costs $247.99 for 90 10-mg tablets of Lipitor® at CVS drugstore. By purchasing simvastatin through the Life Extension Pharmacy, your cost for a comparable dosage plummets by 496%!

We Don’t Sell Cigarettes!

It’s ironic, but the very pharmacies we trust with our lives have no qualms about offering tobacco products at their front door. Walk down the aisles toward the the rear, and you often pass trans-fat-laden foods, lethal over-the-counter drugs, and other hazardous products for sale.

Can you really have confidence in your pharmacy when it sells products that cause the majority of preventable premature deaths in the United States?

If you don’t think there is something wrong with pharmacies selling a product as addictive as cigarettes, think of how many people are trying to quit, but are tempted to purchase a fresh pack of smokes every time they visit their pharmacy.

One reason people can’t stop smoking is that it is so convenient to satisfy nicotine cravings at the same place where other products are purchased. With retail pharmacies sitting along major intersections, the fact that they sell addictive lethal products is hypocritical, to say the least.

What’s particularly ironic is that consumers who purchase dangerous products at the pharmacy later wind up at the same pharmacies—having to buy prescription drugs to treat the diseases caused by the very same toxic products!

Not only will Life Extension Pharmacy never sell cigarettes, but as you will soon read, our new approach to pharmacy practice takes unprecedented steps to protect you against the toxic side effects of prescription med-ications.

Drugs That Deplete Nutrients

An overlooked side effect of prescription drugs is that they can deplete vital nutrients in the body. Classic examples of this are diuretic drugs used to treat hypertension. While diuretic drugs are cost effective in lowering blood pressure, they deplete the body of essential minerals like magnesium and potassium.4

Many doctors recognize the potassium-depletion risk of diuretics, but most fail to compensate for the magnesium deficiency that can severely exacerbate vascular disease.

The documentation that statin drugs deplete coenzyme Q10 in the body is so significant that pharmaceutical giant Merck® owns patents to combine statin drugs with CoQ10 to protect against a statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency.

Deficiencies of magnesium5-11 and coenzyme Q1012-14 are strongly linked with increased heart disease risk. Despite overwhelming scientific documentation, statin and diuretic drugs are often prescribed without a warning about the critical need to supplement with CoQ10 and magnesium.

In the face of dire warnings about vascular disease epidemics caused by drug-induced nutrient depletion, commercial pharmacies have abysmally neglected their clients by not informing them about which nutrients to take with their medications.

As a Life Extension Pharmacy customer, you will be notified if your particular prescription drugs have been shown to cause a nutrient deficiency and informed about how to safely compensate for this problem.

Side-Effect Early Warning

Long before the lethal side effects of Vioxx® became headline news, Life Extension warned it members about the potential side-effect risks of COX-2 inhibitor drugs.15 We issued our alert based on the metabolic imbalances that occur if only the COX-2 enzyme is inhibited in the body.

If the Life Extension Pharmacy had been around in 2001, we would have suggested ways that would have enabled COX-2 inhibitors to be more safely used, or suggested alternative approaches to chronic pain relief.

Unlike commercial pharmacies that act merely as order-fulfillment proxies for the drug industry, the Life Extension Pharmacy’s mission is to provide the safest and most effective medications to clients at the absolute lowest prices. While we cannot guarantee that we will discover the lethal side effects of all newly approved drugs like we did with COX-2 inhibitors, the Life Extension Pharmacy is committed to protecting the health of its customers—while saving them huge dollars on their prescription drug purchases.

Blood-Test Early Warning

If you had the time to read the fine print of your prescription drug insert, you would be surprised about the vital importance of having your blood tested to guard against lethal but preventable side effects.

Hurried doctors routinely fall short when it comes to recommending low-cost blood tests that could detect liver, kidney, bone marrow, and other toxicities caused by prescription drug misuse.

When blood tests are not properly done, patients can suffer irreversible tissue damage requiring even more hospitalizations and more costly prescription drugs. The fact that these debilitating and lethal side effects could be sharply reduced by proper blood testing—and that these blood tests are nevertheless routinely neglected—is a national travesty.

For those taking statin drugs, proper blood testing is of particular importance, as excess doses can cause permanent muscle and liver damage.16-24 These side effects can be virtually eliminated if the dose is adjusted to reflect what the drug is actually doing in each individual’s body. Such dose-adjusting data are readily available merely by having the proper blood tests done.

The Life Extension Pharmacy will make its best effort to advise customers of specific blood tests they should ask their doctor about when taking side-effect-prone medications.

Drug-Interaction Early Warning

Consumers often are victimized into using drugs that cost far more than necessary. Some of these drugs also have greater risks of side effects than other medications. That is why we offer a free Drug Cost-Safety-Benefit Review when you transfer your prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy.

In order to optimize your prescription drug program, while saving huge dollars, it is important to have all your prescriptions transferred. That is the only way that Life Extension pharmacists can have full knowledge of all the medications you are taking.

A real-life example of a lethal drug reaction can be seen in a sad case where different doctors of one patient prescribed the three following drugs:

  • Coumadin®: prescribed by a cardiologist to prevent abnormal blood clots
  • Prednisone: prescribed by a rheumatologist to relieve inflammatory pain
  • Lupron®: prescribed by an urologist to treat prostate cancer.

Each of these drugs can deplete bone mineral density, but when all three are used at the same time, rapid osteoporosis can be induced.25-33 In this case, the result was a crippling spinal stress fracture, an agonizing four-month hospital stay, and finally death due to medical errors in the hospital setting.

While the Life Extension Pharmacy cannot guarantee that it will detect every adverse drug interaction, it will review customer records to make the best effort to protect clients against the lethal consequences of drug interactions that are so common today.

Can Your Life Be Trusted to a Pharmacy Chain?

Adverse reactions from prescription drugs cause over 100,000 deaths a year in the United States.34 Despite these startling numbers, the nation’s leading pharmacies have done virtually nothing to protect their customers against the very real dangers posed by the drugs they sell.

A review of annual reports of publicly traded pharmacies reveals the outrageous profits they earn selling tobacco, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, processed foods, liquor, and more. Nothing is mentioned about efforts to protect their customers against the lethal products they sell. But then again, it was never the mission of these pharmacy chains to save human lives.

The harsh reality is that today’s large pharmacies sell anything that is legal, whether it kills their customers or not. They are in business to make money, not to better humankind. The Life Extension Pharmacy’s mission, on the other hand, is to revolutionize the practice of pharmacy in a way that preserves both the client’s health and economic solvency.

Even Greater Future Discounts

From Day 1, the Life Extension Pharmacy will be able to slash the high costs of prescription drugs. But this is only the beginning. We have developed a strategy to reduce the price of prescription drugs to such a low level that cost will no longer be an issue.

The Life Extension Foundation’s track record provides historical proof of our abilities to use Foundation membership buying power to drastically reduce prices. For example, when we first recommended SAMe as an antidepressant in 1996, it cost $45 to obtain 4000 milligrams (20 200-mg tablets). We promised members that this high price was only temporary, and that we would figure out a way to reduce the cost if we could get enough people using it. Within a few years, we slashed the price for this amount of SAMe to only $10.50. In inflation-adjusted terms, we have reduced this quantity of SAMe to only $7.35—a savings of more than 80%!

If you knew how difficult and expensive it is to properly synthesize SAMe, you would understand the biochemical miracle that we accomplished. We are confident that we can provide you with the same type of savings on your prescription drugs. All we need is for Life Extension members to patronize the new Life Extension Pharmacy, and we can generate sufficient volumes to drastically cut the artificially high costs of prescription medications forever.

What this means to you is that you can support our campaign to eradicate high drug prices by calling 1-877-877-9700 today and switching your prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy. You’ll save immediately even if you continue using the same drugs you currently take. You may even be fortunate enough to learn that there are safer and more effective drugs available that cost less than what you’re using now.

Our Revolutionary Strategy

Most people are aware that obsolete FDA policies make it very expensive to get drugs approved and that these costs are passed on to the consumer in the form of high drug prices. Life Extension members have been educated about the exorbitant prices that drug companies charge in relation to the actual cost of the active ingredient. In addition, other government agencies have erected regulations that force American pharmacies to overcharge in order to cover these bureaucratic burdens.

Through your patronage of the Life Extension Pharmacy, you will contribute to a revolutionary initiative to forever obliterate the archaic and corrupt regulatory structure that forces Americans to wait the longest for new lifesaving medications, while paying the highest prices in the world for the dangerous drugs they are too often prescribed.

If you question our ability to overcome our powerful entrenched adversaries, please remember that we launched the campaign that resulted in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act being passed in 1994. We have taken the FDA to court many times and prevailed. We have beaten back attempts the FDA has made to convince Congress to grant it totalitarian new powers.

The ultimate objective of the Life Extension Pharmacy is to save America from bankruptcy. Economists have predicted that Medicare will be the prime reason why social costs will exceed total federal tax revenues by 2050. Unless something is done to tear down the artificially high prices Americans pay for their health care, our country faces economic insolvency.

The Life Extension Pharmacy

Consumers now have a choice. The Life Extension Pharmacy is dedicated to improving the benefits its customers receive from prescription drugs, reducing the number of horrendous side effects these drugs cause, and saving clients money.

To help ensure that prescription drugs are being used optimally, a free Drug Cost-Safety-Benefit Review is available to consumers who transfer all their prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy. Instead of aimlessly filling bottles with pills the way commercial pharmacies do, the Life Extension Pharmacy will seek to suggest more cost-effective medications that might provide broader benefits, with a lower risk of side effects than what clients may currently be using. Included in this review are:

  • Side-Effect Early Warning
  • Drug-Interaction Early Warning
  • Drugs-That-Deplete-Nutrients Counseling
  • Need-for-Blood-Diagnostic-Test Early Warning
  • Dose-Reduction Recommendations
  • Cost-Savings Recommendations.

In the process of providing this vastly improved service, the Life Extension Pharmacy has slashed the costs of prescription drugs to enable individual consumers to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

Even if you have insurance that covers most of your prescription drug costs, the Life Extension Pharmacy can still save you money, as explained in the box at the end of this article, entitled “How to Maximize Your Insurance Benefits to Minimize Your Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs.”

To take advantage of the lifesaving free services provided by the Life Extension Pharmacy, just call 1-877-877-9700 to initiate the transfer of all your prescriptions.

Please Join Our Revolt

As a client of the Life Extension Pharmacy, you are participating in a revolution to tear down an immoral drug monopoly that causes Americans to grossly overpay for their prescription medications.

Instead of asking for donations, we are only asking that you call 1-877-877-9700 to have your prescriptions conveniently transferred to the Life Extension Pharmacy. We accept most major insurance plans and can even reduce your copays.

You may never have another opportunity to contribute to a cause that may help to ensure your country’s economic future . . . while saving big dollars today!

Removing the Shackles of Bureaucratic Ineptitude

There was a time when elderly Americans were destined to become serfs of the FDA-protected drug cartel. While the pharmaceutical industry still heavily lobbies Congress to stifle competition, American citizens have just won a huge victory in the war against high drug prices!

Consumers can fight back against today’s corrupt and inept medical establishment by transferring their prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy.

The Life Extension Pharmacy enables consumers to slash the cost of their prescription drugs, while gaining access to unique services that could save their lives.

For the past 27 years, Life Extension has battled the pharmaceutical industry’s monopolistic stranglehold on the nation’s health care system. Life Extension was the first to expose the hoax perpetrated by the FDA that Americans had to pay the highest drug prices in the world.

From the privacy of your own home, you can easily transfer your prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy and receive free delivery on all of your prescription needs. To find out how much money you can save on your drug purchases, and how easy it is to transfer your prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy, just call 1-877-877-9700 today.

How to Maximize Your Insurance Benefit to Minimize Your Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs!

If you have medical insurance that covers most of your prescription drug costs, you may wonder whether it benefits you to transfer your prescriptions to the Life Extension Pharmacy. The answer is a resounding yes!

First of all, the Life Extension Pharmacy charges your insurance company much less than commercial pharmacies. This means that if enough people in your group switch, your annual premium increases could be reduced. If your company-funded insurance plan is teetering on the verge of insolvency (as so many are), switching to the Life Extension Pharmacy could contribute to keeping your medical insurance intact.

As an immediate benefit, you can save money on your prescription drug costs, even if you have a very low copay. Here’s how:

Guiding You Through the Maze

Prescription drug insurance has become increasingly complicated and will continue to be so in the future. The Life Extension Pharmacy will help you navigate this complicated maze.

For instance, if your insurance has a multi-tier copay program, the Life Extension Pharmacy will help you to choose medications that either will be part of your insurance plan’s preferred formulary or a generic equivalent, thus allowing you to move to a lower copay.

Even better is the fact that the Life Extension Pharmacy has slashed the costs of prescription drugs so low that in some cases the cost to buy the drugs outright will be lower than your insurance copay.

We can even help you with those difficult Medicare Part D questions, such as what to do when reaching the “donut hole” and having to pay full price for medication. Life Extension Pharmacy prices are so low on most drugs that the savings will be passed on to your Medicare Part D insurer, thus reducing your annual out-of-pocket expense.

We encourage you to make a simple phone call to transfer all of your prescriptions to Life Extension Pharmacy today, so that you can take advantage of this low-price benefit. Having your prescriptions filled at Life Extension Pharmacy gives you the opportunity to take advantage of our free drug-cost safety benefit review, which further helps maximize your insurance benefit and minimize your out-of-pocket expense.

What could be better than slashing the high cost of prescription drugs while enjoying the kind of personalized professionalism that customers deserve and that can only be found at the Life Extension Pharmacy?

For longer life,
image
William Faloon

image
Saul Kent

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