Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Purple Pill for Reflux? Choose the Cheapest
Proton Pump inhibitors (PPI) are one of the most widely prescribed medications in the world. Why are there 5 different PPIs on the market to treat acid reflux? Is one better than the other? Is the cheaper generic (Omeprazole) as good as Prevacid? or Protonics? or Aciphex? or Nexium?
With the help of The American Family Physician Journal, let me dispel the confusion. First, there are different brands of the same drug because it is a multi million dollar market and a tiny percent of that market is real $$$. It's called market share.
In reviewing the 41 studies comparing the various PPIs that were used to treat peptic ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the authors found no differences among any of the drugs.
Let's look at the monthly price differential between these products:
Nexium 20mg --- $158
40mg --- $137
Prevacid 15mg --- $153
30mg --- $147
Protonics 20mg --- $128
40mg --- $125
Prilosec 10mg --- $115
20mg --- $136
Omeprazole (Generic Prilosec) 10mg ---$27
In summary: All PPIs are effective in equipotent doses. Go for the least expensive!
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 6:48 PM