4 Sneaky Tactics to Keep Meds for High Trigylceride Expensive

Tricor is a medication commonly used to “treat” high triglyceride levels.  Clearly, this discussion should be a moot point because the appropriate anti-diabetic lifestyle choices WILL slash high cholesterol and trigylcerides, but alas, it is not.  Abbott labs holds the patent for Tricor, which was approved in 1993.  Generics should’ve been available as early as 2000, but the sneaky tactis employed by Abbott kept this from happening.

Before we go into the details, let me again reiterate that the vast majority of lipid problems (high total cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides) are caused by a prediabetic lifestyle.  While few patients are told this, the research leaves little room for doubt.  If you have lipid problems, it is highly likely you are on your way to diabetes.

Luckily, for those of you who have no patience and want to get the process over with and just progress directly to diabetes without passing go, the statin class of drugs given to help lower cholesterol can assist.  Yes–It is now accepted that the statin class of drugs given to people with high cholesterol because they are prediabetic actually causes diabetes.

For those of you wanting to slow down and actually pass go and collect your $200, lifestyle is absolutely powerful enough to bring your blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides back to their youthful levels.  Simple changes like:

  1. As little as 9 minutes of burst type aerobic activity per week
  2. Cutting back on portion sizes and calories anywhere you can
  3. Cutting out processed foods
  4. Stop drinking your calories

The full list can be found here.

Should these changes prove too cumbersome and you’d prefer the medical route, you at least need to understand why Tricor remains an expensive drug.

Through it’s course of maintaining control over the brand name and squashing generics, this particular article outlines the sneaky tactic Abbot has employed.  These include:

  1. In 2000, Abbott filed a patent infringement suit, which legally delayed the approval of a generic by 30 months or until the litigation was resolved, protecting Tricor-1 from competition
  2. Eighteen months later, Abbott won approval for a new formulation (Tricor-2) based only on different mg dosages in the tablet
  3. Six months after approval, Tricor-2 accounted for 97% of fenofibrate prescriptions.  It is believed that Abbott pushed sales of the newly patented drug by destroying supplies of the Tricor-1
  4. In late 2002, Abbott again filed patent infringement complaints, postponing the approval of a generic Tricor-2 for another 30 months

The story goes on, but you get the idea.

Lest you think this is an isolated situation, similiar stories are almost commonplace in the pharamceutical industry.  So, the next time you hear someone claims that adding chiropractic care to a health plan will drive up the cost…just remember that we play NO part in the drug shenanigans.

What have you had to give up because the cost of your prescription medications have been so high?

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.