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What is the cause of certain prescription drugs to be so costly?

Posted on 06/19/2012 5:45:07 PM PDT by reaganator

A friend mine shared that he spent $455.00 for 12 pills. And commented, "There should be laws against this robbery." I suggested he find out why the pills cost so much, he does not seem interested in doing so, would rather continue to believe there is no cause to justify the high cost. But this has caused me to want to be better informed on this topic. I'd appreciate any info and links shared, thank you.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Society
KEYWORDS: drugs; medications; pharmaceuticals
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I suggested the high cost might be caused by government intervention and lawsuits.
1 posted on 06/19/2012 5:45:10 PM PDT by reaganator
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To: reaganator

What is the name of the medication?


2 posted on 06/19/2012 5:49:44 PM PDT by Silentgypsy
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To: reaganator
To many unanswered questions. What are the pills? What are the for? Has the guy shopped for the best price? You can do a search on line and find a average costs.
Simply put - need more information.
3 posted on 06/19/2012 5:50:11 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: reaganator

Were these “get high” pills from a dealer?

I’d suggest he pick a dealer that has less overhead.

Check the bling, the shoes, the entourage.. all those add to the price.


4 posted on 06/19/2012 5:50:51 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: reaganator
Why Drugs Cost So Much

"Anyone who has purchased prescription medications has probably wondered why they cost so much. The media has reported on the issue of drug costs a few times with the slant usually being that drug companies are greedy, selfish, and uncaring. Therefore, it is not surprising that the public also shares this view. In their defense, the drug companies usually point to the cost of research. The media then responds with figures showing that the companies spend more on marketing than they do on research. Is the issue really as simple as greed versus the cost of research? The answer is more complicated. To shed some light onto this issue, we need to examine the process of drug development and the economics of manufacturing and selling drugs."

5 posted on 06/19/2012 5:51:53 PM PDT by Brandonmark (2012: Our Hope IS Change!)
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To: reaganator
to start with, only one out of ten drugs started makes it to market, and that one, has to pay for ALL the costs associated for all ten...
6 posted on 06/19/2012 5:53:06 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: reaganator

If it wasn’t for the “ROBBER” drug companies, I am guessing your friend would be DEAD now....so $455 sounds like a bargain to me.


7 posted on 06/19/2012 5:53:44 PM PDT by dewawi
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To: reaganator
Forbes: The Truly Staggering Cost Of Inventing New Drugs

The average drug developed by a major pharmaceutical company costs at least $4 billion, and it can be as much as $11 billion.

8 posted on 06/19/2012 5:54:03 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: Silentgypsy

I told him we need to know the name of the medication, might be too personal. He’s a liberal, does not want to discover anything that goes countyer with what he wants to believe. Is it possible to answer my question in a general sense? What causes many prescription drugs to be so costly?


9 posted on 06/19/2012 5:54:44 PM PDT by reaganator
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To: Silentgypsy

I told him we need to know the name of the medication, might be too personal. He’s a liberal, does not want to discover anything that goes countyer with what he wants to believe. Is it possible to answer my question in a general sense? What causes many prescription drugs to be so costly?


10 posted on 06/19/2012 5:54:53 PM PDT by reaganator
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To: reaganator

I disagree that it’s robbery.

The Evil Pharmaceutical Companies spend millions to come up with new or improved drugs. For every one on the market there are hundreds if not thousands stopped somewhere along the line. All of them are taking the best and best paid minds to formulate, research, and develop the drugs. We are talking medical researches, computer experts, pharmacists and lab techs and biological scientists and etc. Add in marketing and liability, I am amazed they cost as little as they do. After a certain number of years, generics are allowed, and the Big Pharma, which has extended billions of human lives at this point, loses most if not all of its profit potential.

Take away the opportunity to make a profit on these drugs - take away the drugs. Millions are risked to get better drugs into the market. If there is no payoff, the millions will not get risked.


11 posted on 06/19/2012 5:55:09 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: dewawi
If it wasn’t for the “ROBBER” drug companies, I am guessing your friend would be DEAD now....so $455 sounds like a bargain to me.

Either that, or he'd be under a surgeon's knife at a hospital to the tune of $455,000 instead.

12 posted on 06/19/2012 5:55:18 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: reaganator

I typed a query into the search bar: “Why are prescription drugs so expensive?” and got lots of responses:

http://www.rxrights.org/news-feed/why-are-prescription-drugs-so-expensive-here

This one thinks it’s the cost of advertising:
http://www.carefirst.com/pharmacy/GenericDrugs/DrugsExpensive.html

This one thinks it’s lobbyists:
http://healthmad.com/medicine/possibly-why-prescription-drugs-are-expensive-in-the-united-states/

And here’s a view from the left (Slate):
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2010/08/the_8000_pill.html

Lots of reasons, some more important than others...


13 posted on 06/19/2012 5:55:18 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: reaganator

Tell him to stop buying them


14 posted on 06/19/2012 5:56:54 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: reaganator

doesn’t a robber force the money from you?


15 posted on 06/19/2012 5:57:11 PM PDT by GotMojo
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To: reaganator
And why are others so low?

My tiny little pills I take for low thyroid are about $4.50 for 30 pills, a month's worth.

16 posted on 06/19/2012 5:57:22 PM PDT by Lizavetta (You get what you tolerate)
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To: reaganator

mmm...

Price comparison shopping is your friend.

Only thing I’ve heard of remotely that expensive is hormone treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Erectile dysfunction (and probably other) medications sometimes include MD consultation fees in their billing. Maybe that’s the deal here.


17 posted on 06/19/2012 5:59:11 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: reaganator

Prices can vary greatly depending on where you buy them. Walmart pharmacy usually cheaper (sometimes a lot cheaper)


18 posted on 06/19/2012 6:01:18 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: jjotto

Elaprase, used to treat Hunter Syndrome, a disease which affects about 500 Americans, costs $375,000 a year.


19 posted on 06/19/2012 6:02:51 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: reaganator

From what I read and heard there are two major reasons that drugs are expensive, and it’s NOT because the pharmaceutical companies are “greedy”.

One reason is the extensive and expensive process and clinical trials required to get FDA approval and remember out of several drug trials, one may be approved. Drugs in Europe are just as safe, but they don’t have such excessive requirements, before marketing them. I recall reading that there are some medications that have been available in Europe for many years, found to be effective, no problems, yet they cannot be approved in the US, without some extensive clinical trials, that the manufacturers can’t afford.

I think the other reason is that after a relatively short time — 12 years (?) some other company can just get the forumula and start selling generics, without having invested a dime in the development, so the original company that invested a great deal of money in the development, has to make back their investment and make some profit in a much shorter time.


20 posted on 06/19/2012 6:04:22 PM PDT by Innovative (None are so blind that will not see.)
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To: Brandonmark
The 11 Most Expensive Medicines in America

"Soliris has been made famous by Forbes as the world’s single most expensive drug, coming in at $409,500 a year."

21 posted on 06/19/2012 6:05:37 PM PDT by Brandonmark (2012: Our Hope IS Change!)
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To: mvpel

Interesting. Sounds more like a treatment than a ‘prescription drug’. Maybe the ‘high-priced’ averages some from including this kind of designer stuff and the ‘mean cost’ would be more realistic.


22 posted on 06/19/2012 6:07:12 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: reaganator

The costs must include writing patient information at 5th grade levels.


23 posted on 06/19/2012 6:11:10 PM PDT by hocndoc (WingRight.org Have mustard seed, not afraid to use it. Hold Rs to promises, don't watch O keep his.)
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To: reaganator

I am a big fan of expensive medicines. A very close relative of mine (details omitted for privacy) is in serious need of medical assistance that does not currently exist. This relative has time, since the issue is not immediately life-threatening, but an effective treatment (probably pharmaceutical) would provide a huge improvement in quality of life. If the drug companies did not expect to make a sufficient profit to justify both the research costs and the risk that those costs would be a total loss, who would bother doing the research? I hope these companies do the research, succeed, and make an obscene profit without Obama/Pelosi/Reid stealing their hard-earned profits from them. When they pay a 50% “windfall profits” tax and your liberal friend asks why the drug costs twice what it “should”, you’ll know the answer.


24 posted on 06/19/2012 6:13:33 PM PDT by Pollster1 (A boy becomes a man when a man is needed - John Steinbeck)
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To: reaganator

One thing to consider is the market factor. Some drugs treat very rare conditions, so there is a limited demand for them. That alone would warrant a higher price, since the cost of developing the drug surely doesn’t scale with the potential demand. The drug company would have to recoup its costs by charging a higher price to a smaller number of customers.


25 posted on 06/19/2012 6:14:26 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: jjotto
Maybe the ‘high-priced’ averages some from including this kind of designer stuff and the ‘mean cost’ would be more realistic.

If they tried that, the government would slap them with a anti-competitive business practices lawsuit, and accuse them of gouging and predatory pricing.

26 posted on 06/19/2012 6:17:05 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: Boogieman

gimme a break. this is capitalism. They charge whatever they can get away with.


27 posted on 06/19/2012 6:17:25 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: reaganator
My friend's daughter contracted a very rare strain of MRSA. They went through a number of treatments but the drug was resistant and she got worse.

They spent a night in the hospital with her, holding her and hoping she wouldn't die before morning when an experimental treatment was flown in from Chicago.

The drug made it on time and she was treated and out of the hospital in a week. It was a treatment that was developed by the drug company for a strain so rare that it had only been used about seven times.

He was very happy to pay $11,000 for the cure.

28 posted on 06/19/2012 6:20:32 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: reaganator

Merck needs corporate jets to research new drugs. Endless corporate douchebaggery.


29 posted on 06/19/2012 6:24:40 PM PDT by King Moonracer (Bad lighting and cheap fabric, that's how you sell clothing.....)
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To: King Moonracer
Merck needs corporate jets to research new drugs.

It's more likely that the corporate jets are used to fly people places.

30 posted on 06/19/2012 6:27:59 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: mvpel

“The average drug developed by a major pharmaceutical company costs at least $4 billion, and it can be as much as $11 billion.”

Or you Could be getting a King Sized Snow Job. See pgs 15-16

http://freepdfhosting.com/d4bad152b5.pdf

“this Court finds the actions of the Defendants, upon this audience, to be detestable.”

“Annual Sales of Risperdal worldwide per annual reports of Johnson & Johnson, Inc.
1994: $0.172 Billion
1995: $0.343 Billion
1996: $0.502 Billion
1998: $0.588 Billion
1999: $0.892 Billion
2000: $1.083 Billion
2001: $1.845 Billion
2002: $2.146 Billion
2003: $2.512 Billion
2004: $3.05 Billion
2005: $3.552 Billion
2006: $4.180 Billion
2007: $4.697 Billion
2008: $1.309 Billion
2009: $1.425 Billion
2010: $1.50 Billion

Total for the period: $29.796 Billion

Testimony at trial indicated that the profit margin for sales of Risperdal was 97% or $28.90 Billion for the period of 1994-2010”

And the fact that the FDA is the Drug Companies puppet might Also have something to do with it.

http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/UserFees/PrescriptionDrugUserFee/ucm152775.htm

A 5th of FDA’s budget comes directly from drug companies through PDUFA fees.

And, that particular J&J drug is going to cost them/J&J a $2.2 Billion Bribe to the Federal DOJ in trade for the Obama DOJ foregoing their deposing of new CEO Alex Gorsky over his part in all Manner of Illegal shenanigans.

http://johnsonandtoxin.com/alex_gorsky.shtml
http://www.pharmalot.com/2012/06/jj-may-pay-2-2b-to-settle-risperdal-probes/

Then again, before you flame me as an anti business troll, you Might take a day or two to get up to speed on exactly Who and What just that 1 drug company is.

http://www.pharmalot.com/tag/johnson-johnson/

Then if you want to know more about why drugs cost so much, you’ll take a look at what the employees have to say to each other, at Any drug company.

http://www.cafepharma.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?f=4


31 posted on 06/19/2012 6:30:11 PM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit? (It is Error alone which needs the support of Government. The Truth can stand by itself.)
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To: reaganator

The answer is R+D, supply vs demand and government interference. I feel sorry for your friend but what kind of law does he wish to pass?


32 posted on 06/19/2012 6:31:03 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: reaganator
Over the past seventeen years, the FDA cost overhead has gone from $359 million to well over $1 billion USD. Here is a link from 2009 that quotes $494 million. Conversations with drug company scientists place the figure in the much higher range.

The FDA is broken and arguably is a killer. The case of Atenolol is a good study in how the process resulted in over 100 thousands deaths due to the delays in approval. The drug was readily available in Europe while all these deaths occurred.
33 posted on 06/19/2012 6:34:28 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: Innovative; reaganator
"I think the other reason is that after a relatively short time — 12 years (?) "

You had good points.  One correction:  they have only 7 years to recover billions of dollars and make some profit, too.

34 posted on 06/19/2012 6:34:28 PM PDT by OneHun
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To: dead
It's more likely that the corporate jets are used to fly people places.

No way!!! Really? Its a perk that the C level employees don't pay taxes for.

35 posted on 06/19/2012 6:35:38 PM PDT by King Moonracer (Bad lighting and cheap fabric, that's how you sell clothing.....)
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To: reaganator
With Obama cutting special deals with drug makers prices won't be coming down any time soon.
36 posted on 06/19/2012 6:45:45 PM PDT by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
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To: Lizavetta

I picked up a horrible lung/chest infection last fall that went from being a virus to one the doc referred to as bacterial. Several meds at a cost of almost $600 did nothing so he prescribed steroids. 16 of them taken over 5 days at a cost of $3.50 - but they were only available at one of our many local pharmacies. Cured my infection almost immediately although I did have a HUGE weight gain.

Hard to understand.


37 posted on 06/19/2012 6:46:24 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: To-Whose-Benefit?
The 97% profit margin amounts to nothing if only one drug in 30 becomes profitable.

If I thought, as you apparently do, that drug companies are so incredibly profitable, I would either start my own company or buy stocks in them.

Americans are being encouraged to treat access to drugs as an entitlement, even though most modern day drugs didn't even exist thirty or forty years ago. I'm embarassed to be associated with such weak thinkers.

38 posted on 06/19/2012 6:48:15 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: reaganator

LAWYERS


39 posted on 06/19/2012 6:51:33 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: reaganator
He’s a liberal, does not want to discover anything

OK.

Why is he your friend?

40 posted on 06/19/2012 6:56:21 PM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
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To: William Tell

If CMS says a given drug can be reimbursed under Medicare/Medicaid at a certain rate, then that rate is what Everyone will charge.

Competitive pricing is off the table. And you’re absolutely right that those drugs are not an entitlement even though most Americans do regard them as such.

Govt subsidizing of drugs is by and large what Drove the price of many of them into the stratosphere.


41 posted on 06/19/2012 6:59:06 PM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit? (It is Error alone which needs the support of Government. The Truth can stand by itself.)
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To: mvpel
Exactly, and well stated. Don't like drug prices? Take an aspirin and enjoy. Oh, you don't like your disease? Want a treatment? That costs money. Don't like that? Tough crap.

If you like to live and NOT go under the knife, there are a lot of medicines out there that will help you.

Do you want to back to the glorious days of the 1940s when there was NO treatment for your cancer? At least it was cheap and no evil drug company was making a gasp...profit.

42 posted on 06/19/2012 7:03:40 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: King Moonracer

“Merck needs corporate jets to research new drugs. Endless corporate douchebaggery.”

Hehehe. Have another look at Merck workers cutting loose on their own Gardasil, the horror Perry wanted to mandate for every 11 yr old girl in Texas.

http://www.cafepharma.com/boards/showthread.php?t=476247


43 posted on 06/19/2012 7:04:37 PM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit? (It is Error alone which needs the support of Government. The Truth can stand by itself.)
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To: To-Whose-Benefit?

Please tell me you are not using cafe pharma as a source??? LOLOLOLOLOLOL


44 posted on 06/19/2012 7:11:13 PM PDT by statered ("And you know what I mean.")
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To: To-Whose-Benefit?

Keep in mind that the sales of drugs that work and are actually marketed have to compensate for the billions of dollars sunk into the development of many more drugs that never make it out of testing and are never sold.


45 posted on 06/19/2012 7:13:00 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: reaganator

Great comments and links. I’ll be spending much time going over this info. Also, I shared many of these links with my friend, I do believe it helped him to understand! Thanks to all!


46 posted on 06/19/2012 7:14:48 PM PDT by reaganator
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To: statered

CafePharma scuttlebutt is just one. Perhaps you’d like to offer up something more than a repeated series of LOLOLOLOL?

I’ve listed MORE than CafePharma.

If you’ve got something, ....... LOLOLOLOL doesn’t impress me.


47 posted on 06/19/2012 7:15:41 PM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit? (It is Error alone which needs the support of Government. The Truth can stand by itself.)
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To: reaganator

It depends on the drug. As others have noted, the cost of failed pharmaceuticals has to be paid by the sale of successful ones. It is a business.

Also note that some drugs are just expensive as hell to manufacture. Low molecular weight heparin comes to mind. It’s an expensive process. Other drugs require rare and expensive ingredients that aren’t readily available.

Typically though, the more people that need the drug, the cheaper it will be. Drugs for rare diseases can run into the tens of thousands of dollar per month. Advertising actually helps lower the cost of pharmaceuticals per scrip because supply and demand is very much a reality in the pharm world. The more people that buy it, the more spread out the non-production costs become.

Also, generics aren’t the godsend some people think. The availability of generic after a period of time just means that drug companies have to charge more to make their profit before other drug companies are free to make it and sell it.


48 posted on 06/19/2012 7:33:36 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: Silentgypsy

I was taking Plavix which was expensive. Patent has now ran out on it, got switched to generic and the cost was reduced by 75%.


49 posted on 06/19/2012 7:36:07 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (A man with his feet hacked off tends not to scurry far. - Norse proverb)
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To: Silentgypsy

I was taking Plavix which was expensive. Patent has now ran out on it, got switched to generic and the cost was reduced by 75%.


50 posted on 06/19/2012 7:36:29 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (A man with his feet hacked off tends not to scurry far. - Norse proverb)
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