Lost Your Job? Get Free Drugs!

Alright, before I get some crazy comments or emails, I am talking about prescription drugs. Today, Pfizer announced that it will provide over 70 of their most popular drugs for free to those who have lost their jobs and health insurance. These prescriptions include some of their more popular drugs like Lipitor, Viagra, Celebrex, etc.

What’s the Catch?

The American drugmaker said that it will give the drugs away for up to one year for individuals who lost their jobs dating back to January 1st AND have been on the Pfizer drug for three months or more. 

Starting Thursday, patients can call a toll-free number, 866-706-2400, to sign up, and those whose drugs are not included in the program will be referred to other company aid programs. Starting July 1, patients can also apply through the Web site, http://www.PfizerHelpfulAnswers.com, which has information about the other Pfizer aid programs.

This may be a ploy to get Washington on their good graces since Congress is starting to discuss the possibility of government run health care. What do you think?

Are you or someone you know going to look into this? Does it sound like they really care or are they doing this as a ploy of some kind?


5 thoughts on “Lost Your Job? Get Free Drugs!

  1. Kosmo @ The Casual Observer

    Sounds like a way to keep customers so that they don’t defect to cheaper alternatives. People get their jobs back, and the income stream restarts. There really isn’t a down side, from the consumer perspective.

    The key to this, of course, is that the production and distribution costs are a very small part of the total costs. I’m guessing that Pfizer can create Viagra pills for roughly the same cost of Flinstones vitamins (that might be an exaggeration, but not by much). Research and development is the big cost (consider how much R&D is spent on drugs that never make it to the market). The way to recoup the R&D costs are through high volume sales. Pfizer doesn’t want its customer base to erode because of unempoyment.

    So Pfizer takes a bit of a loss by giving the drugs away, but comes out ahead in the long run when the customers get a job and remain customers for the next 20 years.

    Kosmo @ The Casual Observer’s last blog post..Auto industry saga

  2. Yana

    I look at these examples as discretionary drugs, and if they are not discretionary, they should be. http://tr.im/llVg Celebrex – I like to follow that one up with “Celebrex WILL Kill You” at youtube. Many of the drugs that don’t bring positive results do bring further medical problems to continue feeding the industry. It would seem prudent to avoid taking drugs that don’t effectively treat a serious illness, and particularly ones that create illness. The jobless that take advantage of this offer may well remain jobless and disabled, if they live.

  3. Mrs. Micah

    It makes some sense. Though it wasn’t the only reason I switched brands earlier this year, the fact that there was a generic which worked for my problem and cost only $5 whether or not I had insurance was very attractive. If people are losing their insurance, I think many (and hopefully their doctors) will take a closer look at generic options when they’re just as good.

    Now that I have a $5 drug that works, the fact that I could get the old one for a $20 insurance copay is not at all attractive–even though I have good insurance and a job. I think drug companies are worried no one will switch back. So I’m with Kosmo.

    Mrs. Micah’s last blog post..PF Bloggers Hit Up the Black Squirrel

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