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  PHARMACYCHECKER.COM IDENTIFIES TOP 20 DRUGS SOUGHT ON INTERNET

— Big Savings, Rather Than Narcotics, Appears to be Key Driver of Internet Drug Shopping —

  WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — TUESDAY AUGUST 9, 2005 —Analysis of 631,789 drug price searches made on the PharmacyChecker.com website in 2004 reveals that the 20 most popular drugs searched were not narcotics and not necessarily the top selling drugs, but popular drugs for which significant savings can be found online.

Consumers searched prices for over 1,500 different brand name and generic drugs on PharmacyChecker.com's price database.But just 20 drugs — less than two percent of the total drugs -- accounted for 17% of all searches. On average, consumers could save 54% by comparison shopping online for these twenty drugs. This is higher than the almost 40% savings generally available on brand-name drugs, Gabriel Levitt, Vice President of PharmacyChecker.com, provided the following insights and observations regarding the top 20 drugs:

The vast majority (eighteen) were brand name products.Only two generics made the list lisinopril and atenolol, which happen to be two of the three top-selling generics (the other being the narcotic hydrocodone).

No narcotics made the list.

The most common types of drugs represented were those to lower blood pressure (5 products) and lower cholesterol (3 products).

Not one drug was for acid reflux, although such drugs are among the most popular prescription drugs sold in the The availability of over-the-counter alternatives, such as Prilosec OTC, likely reduces interest in more expensive prescription drugs among cost-conscious consumers.

The only drugs to make the list without offering online savings of more than 25% were Viagra and Cialis. Online savings for Viagra from licensed pharmacies is only 10% and for Cialis is 23%.Their search popularity may be due to high price and the fact that some online pharmacies sell 'lifestyle' drugs without a prescription from one's doctor.

PharmacyChecker.com Drug Price Search Ranking -- Top 20 Drugs in 2004

Price Search

Rank

(searches)

Name

Condition Treated

(Manufacturer)

Lowest Price on PharmacyChecker.com

(strength, # units)

Price on CVS.com

 

(strength, # units)

Potential

Savings

Online

1

17,845

 

Lipitor

Cholesterol-reducer

(Pfizer)

$145.00

(20 mg, 90 pills)

$331.99

(20 mg, 90 pills)

56%

2

11,416

 

Levoxyl

Hyperthyroidism

(King)

$16.35

(100 mcg, 100 pills)

$54.00

(100 mcg, 100 pills)

70%

3

7,352

 

Fosamax (70 mg)

Osteoporosis

(Merck)

$89.28

(70 mg, 12 pills)

 

$240.00

(70 mg, 12 pills)

 

63%

4

6,394

 

Viagra

Erectile dysfunction

(Pfizer)

$36.00

(100 mg, 4 pills)

 

$40.00

(100 mg, 4 pills)

10%

5

6,118

 

Zocor

Cholesterol

(Merck)

$129.99

(20 mg, 90 pills)

 

$438.99

(20 mg, 90 pills)

 

70%

6

6,100

Advair Diskus

Asthma

(Glaxo)

$95.60

(250-50 mg, 60 doses)

$179.99

(250-50 mg, 60 doses)

47%

7

5,559

 

Celebrex

Arthritis

(Pfizer)

$121.00

(200mg, 100 pills)

 

$319.00

(200mg, 100 pills)

 

62%

8

4,246

 

Zoloft

Depression

(Pfizer)

$114.00

(50 mg, 100 pills)

 

$303.00

(50 mg, 100 pills)

62%

9

4,210

 

Lisinopril

Hypertension

Multiple (Generic)

$14.69

(20 mg, 100 pills)

 

$41.98

(20 mg, 100 pills)

65%

10

4,065

 

Norvasc

Hypertension

(Pfizer)

 $101.00

(5 mg, 100 pills)

$164.00
(5 mg, 100 pills)

 

38%

11

3,894

 

Premarin

Menopause

(Wyeth)

 

$18.78

(.625 mg, 100 pills)

$121.00

(.625 mg, 100 pills)

84%

12

3,853

 

Cialis

Erectile Dysfunction

(Lilly)

$55.32

(20 mg, 6 pills)

$71.99

(20 mg, 6 pills)

23%

13

3,824

 

Actonel

Treat Osteoporosis

(Proctor and Gamble)

$114.93

(35 mg, 12 pills)

$239.97

(35 mg, 12 pills)

52%

14

3,812

 

Plavix

Prevent stroke and heart attack,

(Bristol Meyers Squibb)

$207

(35 mg, 90 pills)

$388.99

(35mg, 90 pills)

47%

15

3,695

 

Atenolol

Treats chest pain and high blood pressure

Multiple (Generic)

$7.99

(50mg, 100 pills)

 

 $16.19

(50mg, 100 pills)

 

47%

16

3,436

 

Toprol XL

Treats chest pain, high blood pressure, heart failure

(Astra Zeneca)

$79.77

(50 mg, 100 pills)

 

$102

(50 mg, 100 pills) 

22%

17

3,299

 

Bextra

Treats Arthritis

(Pfizer)

$141.97

(20 mg, 100 pills)

$346.99

(20 mg, 100 pills)

59%

18

3,237

 

Diovan

Treats high blood pressure, heart failure

(Novartis)

$100.80

(160 mg, 90 pills)

$190.99

(160 mg, 90 pills)

47%

19

3,164

 

Effexor

Anti-depressant

(Wyeth)

$150

(75 mg, 100 pills)

$214.99

(75 mg, 100 pills)

30%

20

3,137

 

Pravachol

Cholesterol-reducer

(Bristol Meyers Squibb)

$129

(40mg, 100 pills)

$470

(40 mg, 100 pills)

73%

Sources: Rankings -- PharmacyChecker.com; Prices -- PharmacyChecker.com and CVS.com on July 27, 2005.

 

The PharmacyChecker.com database also identifies the strengths of each drug that were most often sought. For example, over half of all Viagra searches were for the highest strength - 100mg tablets - possibly due to pill-splitting strategies to further save money on these pills (about $10 each). Among the four strengths of Lipitor available, the 20 mg tablet represented 43% of all searches.

 

Mr. Levitt noted that preliminary analysis of search data from the first half of 2005 indicates some changes in the rankings, including a marked decline in searches for Celebrex, possibly due to recent concerns over another Cox-II inhibitor Vioxx (Merck). The number of searches has increased dramatically - with searches in the first half of 2005 exceeding the total for all of 2004.

PharmacyChecker.com has tracked online drug searches and prices since 2003. Custom reports are available for any time-period up to the present and can be searched by drug name, form, strength, and unit size. Visitors to www.PharmacyChecker.com can freely access current prices as well as pharmacy ratings, customer comments, and in-depth profiles of online pharmacies.

 

PharmacyChecker.com is privately held and based in Westchester County, New York. It has no ownership in or from companies that sell or distribute pharmacy products. Reports can be ordered by contacting Gabriel Levitt, Vice President for Research, at gabriel.levitt@pharmacychecker.com, or 718-387-4526. PharmacyChecker.com's Guide to Low-Cost Canadian and U.S. Pharmacies is available as a paperback and can be ordered from 800-431-1579.