The Latest on Potential Policy Changes
Frustrated by a lack of action at the federal level, states have taken up the fight to bring down skyrocketing drug prices.
This year, 33 states have enacted 51 laws to address the high price of drugs and help Americans access their medications affordably. More laws are expected before the end of the year.
Colorado, Florida, Maine and Vermont are all moving forward to establish programs to import more affordable drugs from Canada.
In order for states to allow importation, Health and Human Services has to approve the state plan and certify safety.
It is promising that HHS Secretary Alex Azar recently cited the safety of the Canadian drug distribution system, claiming the federal government is “open for business” on proposals to allow Americans to import their medicines and issued a regulatory framework to permit legal importation.
Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Ned Sharpless made clear that drug importation is a safe way for Americans to access affordable life-saving medicines: “We’ve been keenly focused on ensuring the importation approaches we’ve outlined pose no additional risk to the public’s health and safety.”
In addition, federal legislation could have a big impact on drug pricing. Currently, there are more than a dozen Congressional bills targeting drug costs, although a busy schedule and presidential election could thwart efforts.
Last Updated: September 11, 2019
For decades, Americans with access to Canada traveled to brick-and-mortar Canadian pharmacies to fill their prescriptions. In fact, elected officials would often take buses of constituents across the border to do so, including Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont (now Senator Sanders), Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and many others.
The Internet has expanded access to many of these same pharmacies for Americans who don’t live close to the U.S.-Canadian border. Personal prescription importation from certified, trusted, and legitimate Canadian pharmacies have been used by millions of Americans for more than 15 years as a safe and affordable alternative to the exorbitant prescription drug prices in the U.S.
THE IMPACT OF HIGH DRUG PRICES
IMPACT ON PATIENTS
The high price of brand-name drugs in the U.S. has created a serious health crisis and is a significant burden for the elderly and others on fixed incomes.
Millions of people, often the elderly with chronic health conditions, are either skipping doses, splitting pills, or forgoing medications completely. The high cost of daily prescription drugs often forces individuals to choose between their medications and gas, food, or even their mortgage. Patients who need medications to treat conditions from asthma too high cholesterol to arthritis pain are at the mercy of drug makers who can charge “whatever the market will bear.”
Importing prescription medications from safe, verified pharmacies in Canada provides a lifeline to those in need of affordable life-saving and health maintenance medications.
Americans facing ever-increasing medication costs often choose not to adhere to their prescription regimens. This is an unacceptable choice resulting in serious health consequences for patients and leading to increased costs for the healthcare system and taxpayers.
IMPACT ON CAREGIVERS
Caregivers – who are often family members – also face hard health care decisions, as they are responsible for the financial and physical administration of health care, including maintenance drugs.
In some cases, we know caregivers will pay out of their own pockets for prescriptions to ensure that their loved one can take their high-priced daily prescription medication, often placing a financial strain on other family members as well as the patient.
IMPACT ON THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
This is a burden to the U.S. healthcare system due to primary and secondary health issues created by non-adherence.
Many individuals who import their medications from licensed Canadian pharmacies are on Medicare and/or Medicaid. When these individuals cannot afford their health maintenance drugs, the resulting non-adherence snowballs into health complications that can easily result in otherwise avoidable hospitalizations. In turn, government healthcare programs – and thus American taxpayers – pick up the tab.
Big pharma claims that importing drugs from Canada undercuts their ability to recoup research and development costs necessary for developing treatments and medications. We do not believe that the elderly and patients living on fixed incomes should be responsible for ensuring that pharmaceutical companies reach and exceed their profit goals.
The exorbitantly high cost of prescription medications is an ongoing, serious health crisis for millions of Americans, they are desperate for relief and want the government to act.
Credentialed online pharmacies are safe, providing compliant, safe medications for verified prescription medications.
As lawmakers struggle to address the issue of high drug prices, facing intense resistance from the pharmaceutical manufacturers, allowing personal prescription importation from Canada is the simplest, most immediate solution to provide Americans with reasonable access to safe, affordable prescription medications.
While we are pleased to see Congress and others putting forth options to address absurdly high drug prices, most proposals will take years to implement, if they move forward at all. On the other hand, Congress can provide relief today by allowing importation of personal-use medications from credentialed, verified Canadian pharmacies.
For a current list of U.S. vs. Canadian prices for some of the most commonly imported medications, please click on the link below: