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Drug Ads Hike Costs

May 22, 1988

Regarding your May 1 article on drug advertising, "Drug Ads: Prescription for Controversy":

Recently I went to refill my prescription for my blood-pressure medicine. I was shocked that the price had risen to $34, which was $8 more than it had cost the previous month. I wondered what could have caused such a marked increase.

The answer arrived in my mailbox at intervals over the next month. Six of the 14 magazines I subscribe to carried full-page advertisements from the manufacturer touting the convenience of this prescription, which comes in the form of skin patches, over the daily grind of taking oral medication.

These were not medical journals, but rather news and business publications of general circulation. Personally, I find the concept of being charged almost $100 extra a year to subsidize attempts to sway patients into asking their doctors to prescribe this product highly offensive.

MARK LAID

Whittier

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