Why are over the counter eye drops so incredibly expensive?

Dry itchy eyes are a common problem for Smart Phone and computer users. We spend far to many hours staring at a screen.

I started having problems with dry eye about ten years ago.

My opthalmologist recommended Optive Refresh. There’s three choices, standard, plus or advanced. Plus adds an ingredient. Advanced has three.

There’s no real medicine. It’s lubricants and moisturizers for the eyes. I usually buy plus if it’s in stock. My late night trip to Kroger forced me to get Advanced.

One 10ml bottle is over $12. :eek: I just bought a bottle at Kroger. Sometimes I find a two pack with 15ml bottles for about $20 at Walgreens.

Why is it so high $$$?

A lot of people use eye drops. Shouldn’t high volume lower prices?

I’ve tried generic boric acid eye drops that are inexpensive. They do little for dry eye.

Liability insurance?

Meant to say that if a bunch of people are blinded by a bad batch of eye drops that’s a lot of liability, to pay enough to compensate someone for loss of vision over their potentially very long life.

Just a guess.

I’m curious what you’ve based your calculation on, that these are too expensive. Eye drops have to be manufactured to be sterile, maintain sterility as bets as possible, dispense the correct amount, and have the proper ingredients to help your problem (so yes, it’s medicinal if it’s treating symptoms).

What do you think it should be priced at, and why?

My father uses Refresh eye drops, which we buy from Costco. It comes in a pack containing five bottles totaling 65ml for under twenty bucks. If that brand will work for you, you might save some money.

$5 seems reasonable. Eye drops are mostly sterile water with some lubricants.

a $12 10ml bottle is .33 oz. That’s tiny and won’t last a month. I use drops 3 or 4 times a day.

I will check Sams Club for a better deal. Compare ingredients and perhaps buy the Sams brand.
6ml Clear Eyes is $3 that’s just basic eye drops without lubricants.

I have never worn contacts.

I assume contact users go through a lot of eye drops?

I worked as a programmer for many years before developing dry eye.

My opthalmologist may eventually put me on prescription drops. But, over the counter is doing the job for now

Still curious how you calculated your estimated valuation. Cost of production, ingredients etc. Just because something is more than you want to pay doesn’t make it automatically over priced.

I see $3 and $4 basic eye drops on the shelf. Add a couple dollars for the lubricants.

There’s only 3 ingredients in Optive Refresh Advanced
Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium .5%
Glycerin 1%
Ploysorbate 80%
The pricing on this stuff (by ml) varies widely. The 10ml bottle is about $12. Yet, I’ve bought 2 packs of 15ml bottles for $20 to $21.

Seems like the manufacturer of Optive charges whatever the market will tolerate.

I definitely need to find a generic.

Related, somewhat. I was recommended a nutritional supplement, a blend of Fish and flax oil called Theratears. It’s wonderful stuff, worked far better for my dry eyes than Restasis, and presumably the fish oil has other benefits, too. But the price of it has gone up for $13/month supply to $19/month supply. Yikes!

Also, I really like the Theaters eye drops. To hell with the expense, I buy them in single use vials. I want to take no chances of contaminating the bottle or the eye drops. My vision matters too much.

Perhaps the lubricants are expensive. But even moreso, I’d guess all the packaging adds up. All those little tiny bottles cost, more or less, the same as a big bottle (in materials).
I don’t think it would have much to do with insurance. Contact solution isn’t anywhere near that cost.

For the same reason printer ink is so expensive: You’re paying for the packaging, which in the case of eye drops is designed to reduce waste and preserve sterility.

Try Amazon. You can get 2-10 ml bottles for $17.58.

I have a corneal erosion thingy, and I will say it was a shock when the saline ointment my doctor sent me for was like $17 for a half-ounce of salt cream. It’s cheaper when you buy the generic on Amazon, but the first time I was in the middle of several weeks of horrible screaming eye pain and the first place I found that stocked it was a local compounding pharmacy. I know you can produce it for cheaper because the generic is cheaper, and I even understand intellectually that this is what happens when there’s a very low but also very inelastic demand for a product, but it still rankled a bit.

You guys are missing the point… it has ***NOTHING ***to do with what they’re made of, how they’re manufactured, etc… That stuff factors into the *cost * of the eyedrops, which is part of the profit calculation (lower cost = more profit, in general)

Pricing is another matter entirely, and it has mostly to do with what people will pay. In this case I’ll speculate that you have a set of people who want to buy this stuff pretty badly and there are NO alternatives. So they can raise the price until people are just flat out unwilling to pay at all. Compare this with say… hand lotion. People desperately need hand lotion, but there are plentiful alternatives to any given brand and type of lotion, so they can’t raise their prices too high without people just switching brands.

That’s the big fallacy- assuming that the production or ingredients have anything whatsoever to do with the price you pay for something. If they do at all, it’s only in setting the cost, which is sort of a floor below which they typically do not price their products, except in the case of loss-leaders. In most things however, the price is drastically above the cost because people are willing to pay more- convenience, need, etc…