I had a conversation with Gabriel Levitt from PharmacyChecker.com the other day, as I was in search of a Canadian Pharmacy that I could travel to and obtain affordable, needed, drugs. The reason for this “travel” was the recognition of the newest law (the new FDA bill) on the books in the U.S. that any drug under the value of $2,500.00 would (or could) be seized and destroyed by border security agents.
My particular situation is this: I am on blood thinner (anti-coagulate) medicine. I must continue on this medicine for the remainder of my life. A few years ago I had open heart surgery to repair a defective Mitral valve inside my heart. I elected to have an artificial valve installed instead of a “bio” valve (Porcine or bovine). After weighing the options it was pointed out to me that “bio” replacements would not last as long as artificial valves have proved to be. If any of you have had open heart surgery in the past you will share my desire to not do that again. Very painful recovery and many weeks of gaining strength back.
This brings up the only downside of the artificial, compared to “bio”, replacement. My blood has to be thinned and monitored to prevent clots from forming around the replacement valve. This requires the drug Coumadin to be taken daily. All is fine so far.
Here’s the real kick – If I have to have any procedures that might involve bleeding, be it surgery or even as insignificant as tooth extraction, I must wean myself off Coumadin and bridge this time period with one of the heparin derivative drugs. One of the least expensive of these is Lovenox.
The cost of this drug in the US is approximately $1,200.00 per box of ten Syringes. I must self-administer twice a day so this is only a five day supply. My experience with this medicine is that I must refill and administer more before my Coumadin goes takes effect. Ok, so that is another $1,200.00 out of pocket. Even when I was on Medicare part D my out of pocket was still about $420.00 per purchase.
I was in contact with one of the pharmacies in Canada that your organization verifies. The cost at the Canadian pharmacy was about $140.00 per box of ten syringes. Same manufacturer, same dosage, and same freshness.
I ask you, what is the $1,060.00 extra for? I know that the Canadian pharmacies are not selling me this drug at their cost, so they are making a profit, but why the huge difference?
It makes me think that the drug companies here, in the states, are being allowed to make OBSCENE profits by a significant number of members of congress. What else would explain the very large difference in pricing?
This brings us back to the enactment, with lightning speed, this new law provides for the destruction of mail order drugs from “over the border “pharmacies. The law makers established a price of $2,500.00 as a criteria to destroy (or not) these drugs. Interesting!
Well, that is my story. I know I am not the only US citizen that is being held hostage by those that have a vested interest in keeping US drug prices at an apparent, artificial, level. I think the word extortion is repugnant but does it apply is this discussion? Unfortunately, I think so.
To Mr. Gabriel Levitt and the good folks at Pharmacy Checker please feel free to use this letter in any effort to help bring down the cost of drugs in this country. In the short run, to rescind any attempt by lawmakers to prevent my obtaining affordable drugs from Canadian Pharmacies.
Thank you for reading my story. I am not alone.