I’ve recently been exercising bragging rights about our new and improved drug price comparisons. Americans seeking medicine from Canada and other countries are finding better deals on generics right here at home. But the crisis of high drug prices in the U.S. persists when it comes to brand medications. Recent price research by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that brand name drug prices have increased by 76% over just the past six years.
This week, PharmacyChecker released new price analysis
savings for 10 popular patented drugs, comparing U.S. discounted medication
prices with those available at accredited international online pharmacies. The
average discount from Canadian pharmacies is 75%. If ordering from farther abroad,
Today we issued a press release showing that the most popular brand name asthma medications are on average 76% less when purchasing from the lowest-cost PharmacyChecker.com-verified online pharmacies than at U.S. bricks and mortar pharmacies. For example, a three month supply of Advair Diskus (250-50mcg/dose), a popular preventative medication, costs $947.97 at a bricks-and-mortar pharmacy in New York City. The same medicine, by the same manufacturer, costs $149.00, at a verified international online pharmacy – a savings of 84%. With such high prices domestically it’s no surprise Americans with asthma often find themselves going without needed treatments and ending up in emergency rooms.
A 2005 study sponsored by Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard School of Public Health, and USA Today found that 44% of American households with an asthma sufferer are unable to follow prescribed treatments due to cost. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million Americans went to emergency rooms in 2009 due to their asthma conditions. The CDC attributed such hospitalizations to low adherence to asthma management strategies, which include taking preventative asthma medication. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month reported that out-of-pocket costs for medicine were a factor in greater hospitalization rates among children with asthma in the U.S
The health benefits of products such as Advair Diskus, Flovent, and Singulair – preventative asthma medications –are sometimes difficult for patients to ascertain when they are not showing asthma symptoms. Unfortunately, because prices for these products are so high in the United States, Americans view skipping these medications as a way to save money and others simply can’t afford them. If more Americans could find these products at more reasonable prices, such as from verified international online pharmacies, then adherence would improve, leading to less ER visits, better overall health outcomes, and lower healthcare costs for all of us. And with more affordable asthma medication, trips to the grocery store will be less daunting.