Why Your Doctor Prescribes the More Expensive Drug, & 4 More Things to Know Today

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Senior female undergoes eye examination by an optometrist
Alamy
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• This is a tale of two prescriptions: Both drugs are made by Genentech. Both prevent people with macular degeneration from going blind. And both work equally well. But one costs about $2,000 per injection. The other costs $50. Guess which one gets prescribed far more often, costing Medicare an extra $1 billion or more every year?

• The American Airlines/US Airways merger is on the runway and set to take off Monday. The two carriers have overcome the last potential issues, and will join forces to form the world's largest airline. Soon, millions of travelers will learn whether this was a direct flight to higher ticket prices and fewer travel choices, or whether combining US and A makes as good sense as the airlines hoped.

• On Thursday, China's central bank ordered that nation's financial institutions to stop accepting Bitcoin in transactions. On Friday, Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, did just that. It appears that was enough to trigger a more than 20 percent decline in the value of the virtual currency -- which had been, up until then, rapidly growing in popularity in China.

• If you have an entrepreneurial bent, you may just want to head south. Way south. According to a recent report from the World Bank, New Zealand is the world's easiest place to start a business. You can file all the necessary paperwork in just one day, and then you're in business -- literally.

• And finally, while most of the video gaming world is focused on the billion-dollar battle between Microsoft's Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4, let's not forget the name that started so many gamers on their way: Atari. Yes, Atari still exists (sort of), and with a plan in place to get out of bankruptcy, it might just be on its way toward recovery. Or at least, we may see someone releasing modern updates of Centipede and Missile Command. That would be cool too.

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eghnw27

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS, WE ARE IN FOR A MONETARY RIDE.
WILL WE BE WINNERS? TUNE IN TOMORROW TO SEE HOW WE FARE IN THE MA,D, MAD WORLD OF FINANCE. HOPE FOR THE BEST, COPE WITH THE REST.

December 10 2013 at 6:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
pjcpac

Hey Matt. Stop the BS sensationalism. Don't single out one drug and then rant about how docs prescribe more expensive medications. Do your research. Generics make up 80% of the market. If name brand A is better than generic brand B then quess which one I'm gonna write? I don't make money off them either way. There are 3 criteria for medications.1) they have to work. 2) preferably no side effects. 3) they have to be cost effective. If you want Medicare to save money then tell your legislator to allow Medicare to bargain with big Pharma.

December 09 2013 at 11:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
littlebuck1106

our Doctor.s are very quick in seeeing us in an office Vist !!!!! but fast on the drugs scripts!!!! then if u see more then 1 doctor both precribeing to you well 1 will always say u dont need this are that mmmmmmmmmmm !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO WHERE DO WE STAND AN WHAT DO WE DO !!!!!!!! DOCTORS NEED TO TAKE MORE TIME WITH PATIENTS AND MORE CAREFUL WITH THE DRUGS

December 09 2013 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lindahazouri

If it where your loved ones you would listen to them not bankrupt them . You would listen to them and not treat them like animals. Just because blood tests are normal there could be something wrong. You don't listen and you really only care if you get your money. I quarentee that you would do everything for your family not just treat them like dogs like you do us. One day you will be on the other side and may God be with you. After 30 years of nursing I ripped up my license and vomit when any one talks about going into medicine.

December 09 2013 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
exmarine409

A lousy story: this issue about A drug for eyes,,,,versus the majority of prescriptions that allow a generic alternative: SHOW ME THE DATA on the majority of generics….WE by far order generics the vast majority of the time….I'd love to see someone in the medical field analyze the ophthalmology drug and rx'ing practice,,,and see what the REAL story of this is….all generics are not created equal…and WHAT does the MD have to gain from prescribing the trade name product? NADA…absolutely nothing….

December 09 2013 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stick4013

People are saying "see my Doctor". All I see is my Doctors back while she is typing away on her laptop.......I think next time I will take my laptop with me and type back. Ark Ark..... I am a human being and I think that I should be treated as such. The high cost of medical care is not caused by the patients.

December 09 2013 at 8:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
johnleeor

There should be legislation that mandates doctors to prescribe the lowest cost drug if both produce the same results.

December 09 2013 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rjollierroger

My Dr. always prescribes me the medicine that works the same but cost less. He will even tell me where to go to get it cheaper. He is one of the leading Cardiologist in this region. He saved me from dying this year.

December 09 2013 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pattyhar

Pure garbage, Folks.

December 09 2013 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pattyhar

The public is SO misguided (downright LIED TO, in fact!!) and stupid I would say they deserve to learn the hard way. Folks, the generic of this is NOT--repeat NOT--identical to the name brand! If I had to choose between a $50 injection of water, saline, or God knows what else, or $2000/injection of medication that will save my sight, you'd better BELIEVE I would go for the expensive one!! Of course, Obamacare won't pay for ANY of this treatment, which I believe is very short-sighted (get it?). I would sell my house, my car, anything I had to to be able to see. All I can say on generics is "Good luck, Suckers!!"

December 09 2013 at 7:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply