Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prilosec Masala

In these tough economic times we have to cut corners wherever we can. It has always made sense to buy generic versions of drugs when they're available, as they're equally effective as the name brands, and you're not paying a premium for R&D and advertising. Last year Prilosec OTC (Omeprazole), which I've been taking for some time, went generic. But the readily available generics aren't that big a savings. For instance, at drugstore.com a 42-day supply of Prilosec OTC is going for $26.99, and the generic is $21.99. It's not like it's half off or anything.

But there is, I learned, a way to get about half off. Purplediscount.com is an online mail-order business specializing in generic Omeprazole direct from India. It's a mom and pop operation. Actually, it's a pop operation, run by a guy named Dan Sherman, who has a little welcome video on the home page. Dan negotiates deals with Indian generic drug distributors and collects your payment, then you get your meds shipped direct from India. A 180-day supply of 20mg Omeprazole goes for $49.05, shipping included. And if you're skeptical, first-time customers can order a 10-day supply for $3. It'll take a couple of weeks to get to you, but Dan is very up-front on the site about how everything works. [UPDATE: RECENTLY DAN TOOK THE WEBSITE OFFLINE DUE TO HARASSMENT FROM THE U.S. DRUG INDUSTRY THUGS].

A lot of people are apparently wary of buying drugs from India. But many of the generics sold in the U.S., both prescription and otc, are made in India. I checked my medicine chest and saw that I have two prescriptions from Indian suppliers (Dr. Reddy's and Lupin). With Prilosec I figure there's absolutely no reason to worry about the Indian version. After all, Indian cuisine features some pretty rich and spicy dishes, so these drugs surely have stood the acid test. I received my first order last week and the pills have been working just fine. In fact, the first day I took one I went over to Tadka and had their phenomenal lamb vindaloo for lunch.

A couple of months ago I forgot to take my Prilosec before I left for work one morning. So I stopped off at a Duane-Reade near the office and picked up a package of generic Omeprazole. This one was made in Israel. I think I'll keep those around to take when people at work give me tsuris.


Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for the tip.

Sometimes I forget to take my Prilosec and realize it only after the day is over and wonder why I'm taking it if I don't need it, but friends have told me that taking it regularly gives you some protection even if you miss one dose. I don't know if that is true.

I was prescribed Prevacid, which was fine, but when I lost prescription coverage, I switched to the OTC Prilosec, then to the OTC generic. I notice no difference.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been taking Omeprazole for few years (made in Israel, worked very well). Recent version, it was coated with sugar. When i took first time (this pill pink version) i was not sure thinking that it may be just sugar pill instead of medicine. I take each day one pill. For some reason this medicine is not working. Problem continued. Stopped taking that band at present and switched to another brand. Not sure time will tell what is the issue though.

7:31 AM  

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