Just because a drug is new, doesn’t mean it’s more
effective. A recent
article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated that older
diabetes medications may be equally effective as some of the newer, more
Now this comes as no surprise to physicians, who know very
well that some of our “old standby” meds work just as well as their newer, more
For mild to moderate acne treatment, good old Clearasil may be all you need.
published in the Lancet found that over-the-counter topical treatments (benzoyl
peroxide based) worked just as well as more expensive new oral antibiotics
For mild to moderately elevated cholesterol, there doesn’t appear to be much
advantage to taking a newer statin than on older one. The cost difference may be as much as ten
times more, for small gains (if any).
For example, mevacor (lovastatin) is as inexpensive as 0.24 cents/pill
while lipitor (atorvastatin) can run up to $2.54/pill.
Charlie Smith, former president of the American Board of Family Practice,
recommends these very cost effective medications to his patients as needed:
Hydrochlorothiazide for hypertension (from 8 cents to 20 cents/pill)
Bactrim (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxisole) for urinary tract infections (15
Ibuprofen for pain relief/arthritis (about 7 cents/pill).
So consumer beware – those medications that you see in all the TV ads may not actually provide substantial benefits over older, less expensive drugs. Be sure
to ask your doctor if a less expensive medication might be appropriate for you… or
better yet, healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes make the difference between needing
a medication and not needing it at all.
*Drug prices may vary.
This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.