U.S. prices 344% of prices in non-U.S. countries for the same brand name drugs

Prescription drug prices in the United States are an average of 2.56 times higher than those seen in 32 other nations, according to a new RAND Corporation report. The price gap was even bigger for brand name drugs — 344 percent higher.

“The significant drug price differences of the U.S. compared to other leading countries like Canada, found by the RAND Corporation, serve to highlight the disparities and challenges Americans needlessly face when seeking medication. It is no wonder that millions of Americans are turning to prescription importation from certified online international pharmacies,” said Jack Pfeiffer, executive director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation. 


  • Prices in the United States are higher than those in all comparison countries. 
  • U.S. prices were 218 percent of prices in Canada (or, alternatively, Canadian prices were 46 percent of U.S. prices).
  • The gap between U.S. prices and prices in other countries was larger for brand-name originator drugs. U.S. prices were 344 percent of prices in all non-U.S. countries for these drugs. The U.S. price gap with Canadian brand-name originator drugs was 294 percent. 
  • U.S. prices were higher than most comparison countries when combining data for all non-originator drugs, including unbranded generics and brand-name non-originator drugs.

“Brand-name drugs are the primary driver of the higher prescription drug prices in the United States,” said Andrew Mulcahy, lead author of the study and a senior health policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. “We found consistently high U.S. brand name prices regardless of our methodological decisions.”

Regular drug price comparisons analyzed by the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation show that online Canadian pharmacies offer 50 to 90% savings on brand name prescription drugs over AmazonPharmacy, GoodRx, or traditional U.S. pharmacies. 

How to Find a Safe, Certified Canadian Pharmacy