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Expensive Painkillers Are Probably A Waste Of Money

Expensive Painkillers Are Probably A Waste Of Money

Expensive Painkillers Are Probably A Waste Of Money
06 October 2015

You’ve just stormed into Boots at lunch to grab some paracetamol/ibuprofen/nurofen/drug-of-choice to ease the throbbing in your temples.

Somewhere between the pounding and the dull ache, your subconscious stirs and tells you to get the shiny metallic pack with superhero promises.

Ten points to the marketing team behind the fancy packs, because we all waste about four times more money on them than the pills that do exactly the same as the meds in humble packaging.

According to Sky News, branded ibuprofen can cost up to £3.99 in comparison to generic versions which usually cost around £1.35.

The only difference between them is how easily they go down the hatch. Sure, the pellet shaped gel capsules are easier to swallow than the price tag, but you’re coughing up for the privilege.

Painkillers with the same Product Licence Code (which identifies the ingredients) have exactly the same effect, regardless of the brand. You’re essentially just paying for the packaging costs.

Jayne Lawrence, professor of biophysical pharmaceutics at Kings College London, stated: "Some people believe that by taking a more expensive preparation, perhaps a branded formulation, they'll get better pain relief. [But] if it's the same dose of drug, in the same formulation, the customer will experience no difference."

Of course - there's the placebo effect that comes from thinking the more expensive pack is doing more - but in reality, they're identical.

Marketing 1, Consumer 0.

[via Sky News]