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Cardiobrief blog questions American Journal of Cardiology

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Mark Hochhauser

July 10, 2010 at 10:02 am

The abstract of this article didn’t mention if physicians discussed the cost of Niaspan with their patients. My guess is that that didn’t, since physicians often have no idea how much the drugs they prescribe actually cost. I take Niaspan (2 500 mg tablets per day), and the “usual and customary” cost is about $1,500/year, although my insurance co-pay is only $300/year. As for the “flushing” effect, my experience (along with other descriptions I’ve found online) is that your body can feel that it’s on fire, a side effect that causes some to quit taking the drug. By omitting the cost and accurate description of a major side effect, I’m not surprised that the physician-patient communication about Niaspan is incomplete.