Fluoxetine (aka generic Prozac) will continue represent a significant share of the global market for antidepressants, which is expected to exceed $18 billion by 2024.
Whenever I get frustrated with the pharmaceutical industry and its absurd pricing games, I remember that it gave us Prozac.
Prozac (fluoxetine) is a safe, effective drug that has given millions of patients relief from symptoms of major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other debilitating conditions. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, remains among the most prescribed medications in the United States with more than 23 million scripts written annually (at last count), and since it went generic in 2001 it is routinely affordable.
Setting aside for now the fact that the price for one version of generic Prozac increased 879% in 2019…
What is wrong with this picture?
There is no difference in therapeutic benefit when choosing between the tablet and the capsule.
Why are the tablets more expensive? I couldn’t tell you, but I guarantee that most prescribing caregivers are not aware of the price variance. Write 3 x 20mg capsules to equal the 60mg tablet, and you have saved your patient (or her employer) ~96% on their meds.
A salve for depression, indeed.
Paul S. Bradley, MD