Is There Any Reason Why Baby Aspirin Costs So Much

Where I am, even the generic brand is $1.99/30 pills

Last January I went to the doctor for my annual checkup, my doc says, my heart is real sound, but my father and mother both died of heart attacks so it wouldn’t hurt to take one baby aspirin a day. (81mg)

OK so I do this, but I also read, that if you do this, you shouldn’t take other NSAIDS like Ibuprofen as they can lessen the effects of the baby asprin. So I decided to go out and buy more aspirin, cause I had a bit of a muscle ache from working out.

OK now I got THREE HUNDRED aspirns at Walgreens (generic) for $1.09. These are 325mg per pill.

I was like “good grief”

If you split the aspirin in 4 pieces it comes out to 81.25mg per piece. So far I got them split in half but am having trouble splitting into four pieces.

Yeah I know I’m being a cheapskate, and I know the likely reason baby aspirin is so much as there isn’t a market for it (well not much of one, since they put that warning not to give aspirin to kids with flu symptoms)

Sorry for the mini-rant :slight_smile:

Can anyone think of any reason why the baby aspirin should be so much more than the regular stuff?

It’s $4 for 300 pills at Target. But that’s still more than the full-size tablets.

Perhaps the full-size tablets are cheap because they have to compete with other painkillers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc). I think the 81mg tablets are mostly used by adults for heart protection, and there is no commonly available alternative for that.

Do you have any idea how many babies you have to grind up just to make one bottle of the stuff?

Because people will pay more for it. I’ll speculate there’s a subconscious acceptance by parents that to “keep baby safe” any price paid is OK.
Prices are determined by what the market will bear, not what the raw materials cost.

My wife is taking something that sounds similar to combat a blood condition which causes clotting during pregnancy (and we’re 25 weeks and counting…) which is also a 81mg tablet, but it says something about it being “buffered”, so perhaps there are other ingredients involved somehow - possibly for slow release???


I got a pill-splitter that does the job (sort of), but my doctor said that there is little evidence that 40 mg pills wouldn’t work as well, so I figure that even badly split pills will do the job.

As for the original question. The answer is that they charge so much because they can. The cost of making aspirin is obviously negligible, so it is all in packaging, marketing, etc.

You had it right on the first sentence, and then almost blew it on the second. The packaging and marketing’s negligible, too. It doesn’t cost much to bottle and seal some pills.

It is entirely, 100% price discrimination. People buying medicine for small children are willing to pay more than people buying identical medicine for adults. So they superficially differentiate them and charge more. That’s it; it’s pure profit.

Are you SURE it’s not infants showing their lack of market experience and poor impulse control running up the price by overbidding?

As far as I’m aware, the market for baby aspirin for children has shrunk significantly, because of fears of Reye’s syndrome, which is associated with the combination of aspirin and viral illness in children. In most countries the advice is to stay away from aspirin for children and teens unless there’s a specific reason to use it in place of other pain/fever medicines. So the market for this form of aspirin is now dominated by adults who are taking it regularly to thin the blood, and while I agree it’s price discrimination, in this case it’s not because parents are willing to pay more, but because people with heart conditions are willing to pay more.

That’s unlikely to be it because the “one children’s aspirin/day for heart care” has been around long enough that they’re actually marketing 85mg pills for adults now. And St. (famous brand) is just as willing to gouge adults as children, charging eight cents per pill when you can get generics for 1/8 the price.

So there’s probably a few things going on. One is marketing. If you’ve got the name, you can charge more for your product to people who aren’t paying attention. Another issue is probably product line flow. In general, people take handfuls of aspirin when they’re feeling sore. But the 85mg doses are 1/day. So you may not sell as many of those.

The best price I was able to find on-line was about 1 cent per 85 mg pill. Still 12 times the cost of the 300/dollar generic 325mg pills, but still, you can pay $13.50 for a three year’s supply. At that point, it’s not worth slicing the big pills into quarters.

The physical cost of the substance is the same no matter what form it comes in, but I disagree that it is pure “price discrimination”. What you are being charged for is the ‘prevents heart disease’ indication.

Way it works is this: if you are the maker of a pill such as asprin (long off patent) you try to come up with new indications for your product. In order to legally advertise your product for those new indications, you must prove that your product is both “safe” and “effective” for that indication. This is a big, big expense - you have to run numerous clinical trials involving hundreds or thousands of patients over years, employ a host of researchers and labs, etc. etc. Your reward for all of this is a new use patent and the ability to charge more for the stuff - it’s the only way to recoup those expenses (plus of course make a big profit).

I think this happened for Asprin in the late 80s, so it should be comming off patent for heart disease prevention about now.

Ah, good point! “Baby aspirin” may be an anachronism now.

I’d pay more for it. It’s delicious.

That was St Joseph’s Children’s Aspirin, as they used to advertise it, specifically for children. They don’t do thay anymore, of course. Now they sell the same dosage of actual aspirin for adults and advertise a non-aspirin pain reliever for children.