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Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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How to Afford EpiPen with a Safe International Online Pharmacy

The price of the lifesaving injection Epinephrine, which is prescribed for people with serious allergies, is out of control, surging by 480% . . The lowest price for two injections at a PharmacyChecker.com-approved online pharmacy is just over $200.

By Intropin (Own work), Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons [(CC BY 3.0)]

The price of the life-saving injection epinephrine, which is prescribed for people with serious allergies, is out of control, surging by 480% since 2009, CBS News reports. But American parents are actually choosing to forgo buying it because of the cost. Enough! For EpiPen Jr, the brand usually prescribed to kids, the lowest price U.S. option found on GoodRx is $614 for a package of two. The lowest price for two injections at a PharmacyChecker.com-approved online pharmacy is just over $200. That means a potential $400 – 66% – savings. Much more than the numbers: for some parents this is the difference between buying or not buying a medication that can save their kid’s life.

I’m a parent and this makes me sick and angry. But what will doubly disgust me today is if I read some Pharma-funded bull about unsafe medication in other countries that might scare a parent away from lower cost Epinephrine. This is life and death for kids. Only the truth is acceptable. The EpiPen Jr is marketed by generic drug giant Mylan in the U.S. But lower cost options internationally are either manufactured or licensed by Pfizer, the drug’s innovator, which should take the wind out of the sails of bogus arguments about “foreign drugs.”

 

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Generic Cialis (tadalfil): Is it real and can you trust it?

PharmacyChecker AsnwersWe received the following question about Cialis and generic tadalafil.

Question. I am about to begin a one-year treatment of Cialis to help recover from prostate surgery. My question is where can I find information that will give me confidence to use the generic tadalafil. This could result in a huge savings over the life of the treatment.

Thank you for your consideration.

PharmacyChecker Experts Answer

You can get information right here!  (more…)

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People’s Pharmacy Gives a Shout Out to PharmacyChecker.com; Right Back at ’Em!

People's PharmacyI’ve been around the consumer health world for long enough to have a good idea of which groups and individuals really want to find and spread the truth to Americans. Joe and Terry Graedon of the People’s Pharmacy are high on the list. So I was honored to read what they wrote about us (as people, the CEO and me, and as a company) in the latest edition of The Graedon’s Guide to Saving Money On Medicines:

“We have met the founders (Tod Cooperman, MD and Gabriel Levitt, MA). They have impressed us with their commitment to helping U.S. citizens obtain affordable and reliable medications. Even more helpful than the list of pharmacies are the PharmacyChecker.com price comparisons.”

(more…)

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Justcare.org Founder Diane Archer Interviews PharmacyChecker’s VP for Pharmacy Verification

Independent, unbiased health information.

Independent and unbiased health information

Consumer advocate Diane Archer is the founder of JustCare (www.justcareusa.org), a new online resource that makes health advice fun and easy to understand for boomers, older adults and care providers. We’re excited to announce that Diane interviewed our Vice President for Pharmacy Verifications and Information, Kelly Ann Barnes, JD, Rph, about online pharmacy safety and savings. The interview clearly shows why online pharmacies can save you money –– and how PharmacyChecker.com’s verification efforts give consumers information they need to find the safest international online pharmacies.

In Justcareusa.org’s most recent newsletter, Diane writes: “Can online pharmacies offer safe drugs at huge savings? You bet!” As Chair of the Consumer Reports Board of Directors and founder of the Medicare Rights Center, Diane is a nationally recognized consumer advocate and we’re honored and pleased to have her support for the work we do. It speaks volumes about the integrity that she brings to Justcareusa.org in making it a truly objective and independent source of health information for older Americans and the people who care for them.

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Is Generic Viagra Legitimate? The New York Times Says…

buying generic Viagra online

Depends where you buy it online…

This question was posed in the New York Times Ask Well blog this week. We were pleased that PharmacyChecker.com was recommended as an information source for finding credentialed international online pharmacies that sell Pfizer’s brand name Viagra. On the other hand, we were frustrated that the Times answered this question wrongly by writing “In short, no.” Fact: Lawfully manufactured and distributed generic Viagra – sildenafil citrate – is available in Canada and at Canadian pharmacies. Just go to Health Canada’s drug database and you’ll find it – right here [Type in Sildenafil and hit search]. And it has been sold as a generic in Indian pharmacies, lawfully, for a very long time.

So the answer to the blog post’s question is – in fact – yes.

Prices? The price of a Pfizer branded Viagra 100mg pill in many U.S. pharmacies is $50, compared to $7-10 from many safe international online pharmacies. The generic pill sells for as little as a buck.   (more…)

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Drug Prices Are Insane and Seemingly Unstoppable

The problem is just getting worse.

The problem is just getting worse.

I’m pleading guilty to plagiarism here…well, kind of. I lifted this blog post’s title from the lead section in an article by Brad Tuttle last week in Time.com – called, “Prescription Drug Prices in America Are Rising Like No Other Industry.” The gist of the article is one we’re familiar with: drug price inflation is a major aberration in the U.S. economy, increasing about 10% a year for the past three years. Compare that to general inflation, which is historically, exceedingly low – averaging about 1% for the past three years.

You can read the aforementioned article for yourself — but what really jumped out at me was the discovery of another piece by Mr. Tuttle called “21 Incredibly Disturbing Facts about High Drug Prices” from this past June. Here are the top three fact (of the 21) that resonate loudest with me and why they do.  (more…)

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Big Pharma picks up your copay tab. Is that cool?  

A gift from Pharma?I don’t often side with global pharmaceutical companies but on the issue of their copay drug coupon handouts I do…but only kind of. Not to be mistaken with prescription discount cards, which are used by people who pay out-of-pocket and not with their insurance (if they have it), drug companies are increasingly giving away copay coupons to cover the copayments of expensive drugs – often for specialty medications but for traditional prescription drug as well. These coupons cover some of even all of your copayment. That’s really cool! Thanks Big Pharma.

The problem is that your health insurance company is still footing the bill for the drug and while you may be OK with that, UnitedHealth, Aetna, etc.  — Big Health — are not. Now don’t get too happy because higher drug costs for health insurance companies often lead to higher deductibles and premiums that you will have to pay. And there’s worse. (more…)

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Happy 4th of July 2016 From PharmacyChecker.com!

Last year I published a blog post to celebrate the 4th of July in the spirit of freedom from high drug prices and unjust laws that protect multinational pharmaceutical companies. Shortly after that post, the fight between consumers and entrenched special pharmaceutical industry interests took on new meaning with the volume cranking up to 11. One Chicago Tribune headline said it best: “How 2015 became the year of prescription drug price outrage.” That outrage has continued unabated in 2016 and moving into the November election is likely to crescendo.

While I talk a lot about them – safe international online pharmacies are not the long term answer to the problem of high drug prices – but they do empower Americans in their battle against Big Pharma and, much more importantly, make it possible for them to afford medication they need to exercise their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And on that note, I republish my post from last year below…

Online Pharmacies and Freedom: Happy 4th of July from PharmacyChecker!

U.S. flag and pillBack in 1776, America’s Founding Fathers agreed that a government should not deprive its people of their natural freedoms. So when I think about the tyranny of high drug prices in America this July 4th – which causes millions of Americans to go without needed medication and face financial hardship – I’m also thinking about the Declaration of Independence and the freedoms it promises. And I write with humility that safe online pharmacies offering lower drug prices from other countries have a lot to do with helping Americans achieve “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Life: There are people living in the United States who, according to their testimonials, would lose their lives if not for safe international online pharmacies.

Liberty: The Internet is a tool of freedom for millions when it comes to access to affordable medication. The Internet helps educate people that medication prices are much lower in other countries and provides access to legally operating and safe pharmacies from which they can obtain affordable medication.

Pursuit of Happiness: In this case I am thinking about the happiness of saving money and the fact that Thomas Jefferson was talking, at least in part, about financial health and security when he penned this phrase. But saving money is not just about getting a “better deal” although there is nothing wrong with that. It’s about the grandparent who pursues happiness by saving a $1000 a year buying medication from a foreign pharmacy so that he or she can visit their grandchildren this July 4th.

For these reasons, at PharmacyChecker.com, we believe it is an honor to help Americans who are going online for lower cost medication by identifying the safest online pharmacy options at which people can buy medication they can afford. By doing so, we empower them to both protect themselves from rogue online pharmacies and their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Happy 4th of July!

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The truth about online access to safe and affordable medication

Bring it on!

Bring it on!

As noted on the top of this web page, this blog is about “Helping Americans Get the Truth About Prescription Savings”. From time to time, I’m afforded the honor of spreading the truth farther and wider than our blog, including this week in Morning Consult, an online journal covering the intersection of politics, policy and business. In “Americans Deserve the Truth about Lower Cost Prescriptions,” I articulate the simple reality that millions of Americans import lower cost and safe medication and that they have done so for 15 years when buying from the safest international online pharmacies, despite federal restrictions.

Against consumers is the multinational pharmaceutical industry, which, in protection of its profits, spends a good deal of time and money scaring Americans into not buying lower cost medication  on the grounds that they are likely to get a fake or substandard drug. To them the Internet presents mostly dangers when it comes to buying affordable medication. They refer to safe international online pharmacies as “rogue” or “fake” – and that scares people.

Remember, we’re dealing with a crisis of high drug prices in America and there are safe international online pharmacies that provide immediate relief while we work out longer term solutions. The flip side of the Big Pharma narrative about “rogue online pharmacies” is plain to see as the truth for those who take the time to look. The role of the Internet in making it possible for a consumer to obtain an essential medication in another country that is not affordable locally should have us all talking about how to encourage online access to safe and affordable medication.

Truth.

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Operation Pangea and Online Pharmacies: Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater?

"I represent safe and affordable imported medication. This bathwater is dangerous rogue pharmacy sites!"

“I represent safe and affordable imported medication. This bathwater is dangerous rogue pharmacy websites!”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a press release about Operation Pangea, an annual global initiative led by INTERPOL “to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of illegal and potentially counterfeit medical products on the internet.” This is the ninth annual operation, and each year I wonder if FDA will throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

There are, according to FDA’s own sources, tens of thousands of drug-selling websites. Most of them are considered “rogue” by PharmacyChecker.com. Where the FDA and Operation Pangea successfully shut down sites (whether lawful or not) that intentionally sell counterfeit medications, or even online pharmacies that sell real medications but without the qualifications or pharmacy safety protocols to do so, we applaud their actions. Shutting down dangerous online pharmacies – throwing out the bathwater – is noble.

In February of last year we submitted a policy paper that I wrote to congressional committees with jurisdiction over laws and regulations that affect access to safe and affordable medications. Entitled “Online Pharmacies, Persona Drug Importation, and Public Health,” I argued that safe international online pharmacies are a boon to public health because they enable consumers to afford prescribed medications, and that overzealous enforcement of drug importation regulation could negatively affect access to those sites. Actions taken by FDA and through Operation Pangea would seem to cross the line from public health to Big Pharma profit protection where they curtail access to the safest international online pharmacies, which is throwing out the baby.

(more…)

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