Monday, November 5, 2012

Name Brand Drugs: Why Tylenol is the Only Brand I Trust

It's funny how the drug market works. As I understand, when a company releases a new drug they have a certain amount of time in which they have a monopoly on that certain drug. (I think this time is somewhere between 12 and 20 years). During this time they have to make up all the money the spent in research and production as well as turn a bit of a profit. The fact is, much of the price in manufacturing drugs is the research and development, while production is actually quite cheap. So, once the patent runs out the name brand drug other companies are allowed to come in and produce generic products, during which time the name brand product drops in price. However, the name brand drug never drops down quite as low as all the generics do. So I wonder, how is it that these big companies like Tylenol are able to stay afloat if they're marketing Acetaminophen at more than twice the price as the same product offered by Equate? It's all about marketing, and the consumer's belief that their health isn't something to skimp on.

They might even be playing on nostalgia. Not explicitly, but Tylenol has been around for years. It's a name you can trust. So when you have back pain or a killer headache you could go and get the generic stuff, but are you sure they are really going to get the job done? After all, Tylenol has been at this for years while those generic companies have only been on the scene for a relatively short time. While Equate has yet to prove itself as something that can stick around, Tylenol has stood the test of time and has year in and year out been there for you, your family and every headache that has come your way.

That's the thing. It's just Tylenol. There is only one ingredient in there: Acetaminophen. It's not like Burger King trying to replicate the Big Mac but they can't find that secret ingredient, it's just taking everything that Tylenol has employed and offering it for a lot cheaper. Yet, that name goes a long way, and the comfort that people feel when they are purchasing the name brand medication goes a long way for drug companies like Tylenol.

So what about us? As Christians we have put our faith in the only one who is able to help us, who gives us comfort and protection. The best part: we don't have to pay anything for Him. Christ paid the price already. All we have to do is accept the gift. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." We don't have to shop around for those generic Gods that we think will do the job. (Spoiler!!! They don't). We have the one and only God here for us and all we have to do is say, "yes."

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