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Executive Summary

GENERIC DRUG PRICING DATABASE PROVIDES "AVERAGE PHARMACIST COST" to health care specialists. The database, launched Oct. 1 and called GenPrice, displays average drug prices for 2,000 products overall, including 400 drug product categories. The averages are calculated from price lists derived from over 30 distributors nationwide and are updated on a weekly basis. Suggested price to retailers on a per package basis is used to determine the averages rather than volume discounts. GenPrice was developed by William Johnson, founder of Competitive Trade Promotions Inc. based in East Brunswick, N.J. Johnson is a 25-year veteran of the pharmaceutical business and has held marketing and sales posts at IMS, Wallace Labs, Warner-Lambert and Sandoz. In 1985 Johnson started competitive Trade Promotions to serve the health and beauty field, collecting and selling promotional materials to manufacturers. Johnson created the generic pricing program to "enable the pharmacies to review the GenPrice database to make sure they are getting the best price on each product," a recent release says. Johnson maintains that price discrepancies between distributors have "led to wide variations from one pharmacy to the next -- as much as 200% to 300% because they have used different distributors." A promotional statement encourages health care professionals to compare the cost "differences between 'Average Wholesale Price' as stated in the 'Redbook', and now 'Average Pharmacist Cost (APC)' provided by GenPrice." The service will help "curb one of the major costs paid by the federal, state and local governments in addition to third-party plans and even those costs absorbed by individuals on medication," according to the announcement. Access to the program may be gained through a personal computer with an external modem. The company is offering a free trial run, which can be reached by dialing 1-800-848-9214 on the modem. Once the drug product is selected, the screen shows the generic name, brand name, product strengths, sizes and Average Pharmacist Cost for each product available in the drug category. Charges for the service include a $95 per quarter maintenance fee, which covers the cost of updating prices and the cost of the "800" number. In addition, the user is charged $1 for each product file viewed. Johnson expects that pharmacists will perceive the new service "favorably"; he has sent promotional mailings to pharmaceutical manufacturers, drug wholesalers, chain drug stores, state Medicaid departments, state pharmacy boards and state pharmacy associations.

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