PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Major Physician’s Organization, ACP: Importing Medication Makes Sense

doctorEarlier this week one of the largest medical organizations in the country, the American College of Physicians, published a position paper on ways to stem the rising cost of prescription medication in the U.S. Some of the recommendations in this article include requiring greater transparency in the cost of developing drugs, taking into account the cost-effectiveness of treatment when evaluating drugs, and allowing government agencies to negotiate volume discounts for prescription drugs.

The ACP report also recommends looking at legislation that would allow the reimportation of some drugs manufactured in the United States. One study it cites claims a 24% savings when using Canadian pharmacies versus local U.S. chain drugstores. According to our research, the savings can often be far greater, sometimes more than 90% when using a verified international online pharmacy!

PharmacyChecker.com would like to applaud the efforts of this physicians’ group in finding new and better ways to lower prescription costs for consumers.

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Care for Your Skin…Without Getting Skinned Alive

When you think about skincare products, you might not consider them the most crucial medications.   But while some skincare medications are more cosmetic, many also treat conditions that are painful, unpleasant, or can have serious consequences. Unfortunately, prices for this class of medications have been rising rapidly, outpacing inflation and salaries, at a time when many Americans are facing out-of-pocket medication costs.

According to a new study by the American Medical Association’s JAMA Dermatology, between 2009 and 2015 many widely prescribed medications in this class increased in price by 200% or more. In fact, two of the drugs in this study, Targetin gel and Carac Cream, increased by nearly 1,700%! Even those medications with less spectacular increases such as Solaraze gel, Clobex Spray and Benzaclin increased between 146% and 325% during the same period.

Benzaclin, which is widely considered one of the best acne treatments, costs on average $503.85 at local U.S. pharmacies according to the JAMA study.   But that same medication can be purchased from a verified international online pharmacy for $71.76, a savings of 86%. A 4.25 oz bottle of Clobex Spray, which treats a form of severe psoriasis, was found to retail for an average of $958.01. At an online pharmacy you could find the same amount of that medication for $293.07, a 69% savings. And while the same study found Solaraze gel, which is used to treat actinic keratosis, a type of precancerous skin growth would costs $1,883.98 for those forced to pay out of pocket, that same medication could be purchased online for $170, or 91% less!

Drug Strength Price Rise 2005-2009 Retail Pharmacy Online Pharmacy Savings % Savings
Solaraze gel 100 g 325% $ 1,883.98  $ 170.00 $ 1,713.98 91%
Benzaclin 50 g 202% $ 503.85 $ 71.76 $ 417.47 86%
Clobex spray 4 oz 146% $  958.01  $ 293.07  $ 664.94 69%
*Based on purchase of 177mL (6 oz.) bottle of Clobex spray for $414.99 at an online pharmacy.

 

Whether treating acne, psoriasis or lesions, taking care of the largest and most visible organ in the human body should leave you comfortable in your skin, not feeling skinned alive.

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Finding the Lowest Drug Prices is a Real Headache – the Story of Rizatriptan

Woman with Migraine
Migraine” by Sasha Wolff from Grand Rapids – Can’t Concentrate: 14/365. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. David Belk, a practicing physician in California, healthcare cost research guru and Huffington Post blogger, recently wrote a story about the huge difference in price faced by one of his patients when trying to fill a prescription for the migraine medication called Maxalt (rizatriptan). Since my daughter suffers from migraines, I know how debilitating migraine headache can be and how important it is to have the medication when you need it.

Essentially, Dr. Belk discovered that Walgreens, a big chain pharmacy, was charging much more money than another pharmacy – in this case Costco. The price for the generic at Walgreens without insurance was $1,490 for 40 pills, or $37 a pill, and even with insurance the price was almost $17 dollars a pill. But Dr. Belk’s patient ended up getting the medication at Costco for $1.03 per pill!!

Now ordinarily here’s where we’d write about how you might consider PharmacyChecker- verified international online pharmacies to purchase Maxalt or rizatriptin if you don’t have insurance – but you would not need to. According to Dr. Belk’s post, Costco’s price was the cash price! None of the online pharmacies in our program sell it for just over a buck a pill. It’s the cheapest in the U.S.A.!

A few months back, Tod Cooperman, MD, founder of PharmacyChecker.com was on Fox and Friends talking about another big chain pharmacy, one accused of overcharging consumers for generic medications. It seems that the problem is not just Big Pharma but Big Pharmacy.

Drug prices these days seem to be all over the place. The moral of this story: shop around as much as possible and don’t trust your friendly neighborhood chain pharmacy or assume that international online pharmacies are cheapest. I know it’s enough to give you a headache, even a migraine, but finding the lowest drug prices will help lessen the pain.

 

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