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May 6, 1992

Cute Sayings, Costly Drugs

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles (Calif) County Medical Center

JAMA. 1992;267(17):2327. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480170053019

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To the Editor.  —Glaxo Inc, Allen & Hanburys, and Roche gave different desk calendars with "cute sayings" for each day to physicians and pharmacists this year. I was interested in the June 3,1992, physicians calendar saying underneath an advertisement for Ceftin, which read: "Pharmacists who offer generic drugs may not be doing so out of the goodness of their hearts. Although generics are less expensive, the profit margin for the pharmacist is usually greater on generic medications." This saying implies that pharmacists are less than ethical. I think it is unconscionable that the manufacturers misrepresent us in such a blatant manner.The same day I noticed this calendar saying, a patient called and asked why her Ceftin prescription, which she got for the flu, was $70 (pharmacy cost of twenty 500-mg tablets is $87.48). I suggested that she call her physician and change to ampicillin or generic cephalexin for secondary