Coping with Concerns for pharmaceutical drug prices

As we all know, there is a problem with rising health care costs. The Brookings Institute revealed that middle income spending on healthcare has increased 25 percent from 2007 to 2014. The Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that deductibles for individual workers have risen 67 percent since 2010. Drug cost increases contribute to this problem. William Faloon, a cofounder of the Life Extension Foundation, believes that the solution to this problem is to amend the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to allow increased competition fromgeneric drugs, suggesting that the end result would be both generic and patented pharmaceutical prices falling. Faloon also recommends contacting your political representatives. The following site provides example letters that can be edited before sending by email: LifeExtension.com/consumer. Hopefully politicians will act.

Canadian alternatives

Another strategy that individuals may choose to use to cope with rising drug prices is to order drugs from Canada using a reputable online pharmacy. I carried out a price comparison for Xarelto (used for blood clots) between U.S. retail and a Canadian online/retail outlet pharmacy. (The site indicates that the drug was obtained from a Canadian source.) The cost for 90, 20 mg tablets in the United States is $1,170.00 (Good Rx). The same order from the Canadian pharmacy was $345, which includes shipping. Cam McIroy from Mark’s Marine Pharmacy in Vancouver, British Columbia indicated that he felt the reason prices in the US were so high is because drug companies set their own prices here, while in Canada, the government controls drug prices. A site to use to check pharmacy reliability and to decrease the risk of obtaining unsafe drugs, go to pharmacychecker.com which includes online pharmacy ratings.

Legal concerns

Some people are concerned about the legality of obtaining drugs from Canada. Two legal websites– Legal Beagle and Elder Law Answers– indicate that it is in fact illegal to import drugs from Canada. The Food and Drug Administration, however, does not prosecute Americans who import a three-month supply of prescription drugs for personal use. We really need to encourage our politicians to work for us in bringing down drug costs. Note: The statistics mentioned are primarily from the International Federation of Health Plans 2015 Comparative Price Report, Consumer Reports, New England Journal of Medicine and the March 2016 and March 2017 issues of the Life Extension Journal.

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