I was struggling to open a bottle the other day and ripped off the quadrillion-folded glued-on little package insert that came stuck to it, as I often do. A while back I remember reading that the cost to the drug company of printing, processing and attaching these little manufacturers' drug information inserts to each bottle is phenomenal ---- I don't remember the exact figure but I was really amazed by it. I also thought there was talk of discontinuing these things to the tune of millions in savings, since all this information is accessible on-line, on handheld devices or yes, -- the ol' PDR.
I'm not sure if this is still in the works, but it seems like a great way to save money and decrease waste. How often does anyone look at these things? I can't say I've never painstakingly unfolded one, put on the 18x magnifying lenses and searched whether or not it contains red dye #2, but whenever I do it's kind of a last resort. My main concern is that the patient has the instructions for use, as for an inhaler, or (if I'm really on top of things) a Med Guide --- but these things are usually separate anyway.
I bet if the drug companies did away with those things AND direct-to-consumer advertising, they might just be able to lower the prices on a few of their products.
And while we're at it, I don't need the bottle of tablets to come inside a little box, too. I bet those little boxes cost money to make...