How drug companies make you buy more medicine than you need

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

They make eye drops too big — and make you pay for the waste. This is our first installment in our collaboration with ProPublica. Check out the full piece at for their in-depth reporting, and stay tuned for more stories in this collaboration!

Correction: At 2:17 the graph should read “Total US Spending” and not “US government spending.”

Subscribe to our channel! is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

Check out our full video catalog:
Follow Vox on Twitter:
Or on Facebook:
Video Rating: / 5


  1. Ian S. says:

    Did americans purchase eye drops all the time? Without medical prescription? Why would you do that?

  2. Joypad Bandit says:

    Oh..You thought "they" cared about saving customers money? ROFL! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

  3. Odinson Bitcoin says:

    Anyone else thought this was all going to be about eye drops?

  4. Samtaplet says:

    This is especially true for asthma medications, most of them are inhaled and when you inhale it about 25%-50% goes on your tongue and back of throat which makes it ineffective, and since medication is expensive in the US the medication I’m on would cost about 700$! That’s a lot of money especially for someone who might have to renew their prescription ever 2 months. We need to find a more effective manner of administrating drugs.

  5. suthesan arasu says:

    Ranjini you look cute #vox @vox

  6. Miguel Alberto says:

    But I thought capitalism was about maximizing the efficiency. Oh well…

  7. Dansafjam Shakshak says:


  8. Cargill Seiveright says:

    Ikr…. My glaucoma med expensive asf and makes my eyes dry so I have to take moisturizing drops. Travaton is good but makes my eyes red, Alphagon P dries my eyes and I like 1 a day drops. So now I'm on Luton which is wasted a lot. Systane could be the biggest culprit since sometimes for it to be effective I have to take 2 heavy drops that just basically wash my eyes.

  9. DDD BBB says:

    You know very well that generally the cost to make medicine is next to nothing. All the is up front the cost of research. So whether or not a bottle has 10 oz or 5 oz doesn't cost the producer any more in any real terms. If they made the bottle smaller, they would still charge the same price. So they'll be no effect on the end-user as far as cost goes.

  10. Tadbir Bains says:

    What if the extra dose is meant for blazed eyes

  11. reakwon693 says:

    Pharma companies charge u for their patent on the drug and not on its quantity

    It barely matter for the actual production costs for the medicine, since production costs are cheap compared to the investments for the development of a new drug

    …see how cheap generics become, once the patent has passed

    Thus, it doesn’t make sense for Pharma companies to change the sizes of their packages, since they would be charged with the same price

    The argument for safety matters makes even sense.
    Patients aren’t supposed to use their eye drops until the whole bottle is empty. Instead they need to dispose it usually after a certain period after the bottle has been opened and exposed to the air

  12. Stock Hacker says:

    USA could fix a massive amount of problems in the world, for example if they cut 1 billion from their military budget they could use the money to fix the medical systems in the entire africa. But no. The retarded people who lead this country only care about money.

  13. ThatOne says:

    I can literally drop a large contact lense solution drop into my eye without any issue. I think people just suck at eyedropping.

  14. Wyatt Fenlason says:

    Why doesn't a different company an attachment to put micro drops over the regular drops bottles

  15. Cameron Moreano says:

    These guys are using eyedrops incorrectly. I use them daily and have never had them run down my face. Vox is fake news

  16. Snoopy 1724 says:

    The manufacturing cost of medication is a very small portion of the price we pay.

    The price we are paying is for the hundreds million dollars of research behind the drug.

    Drug companies will still charge the same amount of money regardless your dosage.

  17. TheBrownGamer says:

    Did I just hear vox say Republicans are doing something good?

  18. Kris Herrick says:

    Love the video Vox, can you please edit the sound differently next time though? The volume difference between the narrator and experts was startling. Thanks!! Xoxo

  19. Sprkly Syndrome says:

    Your problem is putting in eye drops like that…. That’s literally the worst way to do it

Leave a Reply