Buying medication from international online pharmacies received prime attention today in a New York Times article called, “As Drug Costs Rise, Bending The Law Is One Remedy.” The article highlights the prohibitive costs of drugs in the U.S. and also that buying medication online from abroad is a necessary lifeline. And it’s safe, too. Stephen Barrett, M.D., founder of Quack Watch, told the New York Times that he uses PharmacyChecker.com to choose online pharmacies.
Personally importing medication is technically “bending the law” as the New York Times reports (and as PharmacyChecker communicates on its website), but the federal government permits it to the extent that over 99% of international prescription orders reach customers. Furthermore, the FDA states that its enforcement and investigative work is focused on illegal wholesale importation and it has never prosecuted someone for buying medication from Canada or elsewhere for their own use. The FDA has rightfully shutdown rogue online pharmacies but never a reputable online pharmacy, such as those approved in the PharmacyChecker.com program.
Elisabeth Rosenthal, the author of the New York Times article, is responsible for an excellent on-going series about the relatively high cost of healthcare in the U.S. compared to other countries, and what Americans are doing to make sure they get the treatments they need. She’s written about the cost of colonoscopies, pregnancy, joint replacement, and medications. When it comes to medication, the problem is of epic proportions with tens of millions of Americans going without medication due to cost. Hopefully this reporting will encourage our leaders, both at the state and federal levels, to make it even easier for Americans to buy medication from Canada and other countries.
Tagged with: New York Times, Stephen Barrett
When we initially published this blog post, Dr. Stephen Barrett from pharmwatch.org had reported significant difficulties using the Plavix Choice Card program. Dr. Barrett subsequently communicated these problems to Bristol-Myers Squib and Sanofi. On July 13th, Dr. Barrett reported that the problems had been fixed and concluded that the program is now a great way to save money on Plavix. For more, see pharmwatch.org.
Buying Plavix at the cash price from your local pharmacy can run you about $2,500 per year! While the drug has recently gone off-patent and a generic version (clopidogrel) is available, the price of the first generic on the market is not much lower. Drug companies offer programs that purport to help Americans acquire the brand name version cheaply – Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Sanofi, the companies that market Plavix, offer the Plavix Choice Card Program. However, Dr. Stephen Barrett, a consumer advocate, recently tried using this program and found it unbelievably complicated – if not impossible – to use.
Dr. Stephen Barrett shares his Plavix Choice Card Program experience on his website Pharmwatch.org. We encourage you to read about it.
Another low-cost way to get this medication is through verified international online pharmacies. Below is a chart comparing prices from a local retail pharmacy in New York, a U.S. based online pharmacy, and from a pharmacy listed on PharmacyChecker.com. As you can see, the savings using an international online pharmacy is even greater (86% savings) than with the Plavix discount program (82% savings). What’s more, unlike the discount program, you don’t have to “qualify” to get the savings.
Tagged with: Drug Coupons, Pharmwatch.org, Plavix, Plavix Choice Card Program, Stephen Barrett
Drug Prices For 3-Month Supply of Plavix (75 mg)
||Local Retail Pharmacy*
||U.S. Online Pharmacy**
||Plavix Card Discount Program
||International Online Pharmacy on PharmacyChecker.com
|Difference From Cash Price
* Pharmacy in New York City, price collected 6/11/2011
**HealthWarehouse.com, price collected 6/11/2012