Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Do you use a Canadian Pharmacy?

An increasing numbers of Americans are unemployed they are losing their health care benefits and need to buy prescriptions with their hard held cash. Recently it became time for me to get a refill on a prescription for a drug called Nasonex and what I found in the process is upsetting and disturbing AND very expensive.

I am an allergy sufferer. For years I have been miserable and made others around me miserable as well. Finally after much trial and error I found the solution: a change in climate and Nasonex. Finding something that finally worked is life changing…

But, let me tell you what I found out next. Maybe you have had a similar experience and I hope that you will let us know how you were able to resolve it.

1. While I had insurance the co-pay was $30 for a non-generic drug. This product does not have a generic substitute available.
2. When I went to buy it in cash while I wait for new insurance coverage I called a couple major pharmacies and the price ranged from $104 to $109. Almost $80 extra out of my pocket!
3. I was appalled that any nose spray would cost over $100! It’s not cocaine I was trying to buy here. (I tend to get overly dramatic when I’m angry) How can nose drops cost more than $10 to manufacture?
4. My next step was to Goggle and try to find the cost of manufacturing for the drug to see what ingredients could possibly justify either gouging people with this price or passing it onto the insurance companies so that everyone’s premiums would eventually go up. I was not able to find the manufacturing cost however what I did find was that the product until 2006 had been manufactured in Puerto Rico. Aren’t we told that drug prices are so high because of research and high wages of American workers?

Excerpt from news article, link below:

Breaking News on Pharmaceutical Technology
Schering-Plough axes 1,100 jobs as it cuts down on manufacturing
By Gregory Roumeliotis, 08-Jun-2006
Determined to reduce costs in its manufacturing operations, Schering-Plough has announced the loss of 1,100 positions in manufacturing sites in Puerto Rico and New Jersey, aiming to save $100m (€78.1m) a year….
“The company said 550 regular full-time positions will be lost from its Manati site in Puerto Rico, which makes allergy nasal spray Nasonex and nasal decongestant spray Afrin.”

To read the complete article please click the link below:
http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/content/view/print/167421

What can we do?

If you have not heard yet, Wal-Mart and Kmart offer $4 and $5 prescription programs for many generic drugs. They are literally a lifesaver for those who would otherwise have to choose been food and medication. Unfortunately, Nasonex does not qualify under the program.

Wal-Mart $4 Prescriptions
http://www.walmart.com/cp/4-dollar-prescriptions/546834

Kmart $5 Prescriptions
http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/dap_10151_10104_DAP_Kmart+Pharmacy+Microsite?storeId=10151&vName=Kmart+Pharmacy+Microsite&adCell=WH&catalogInd=DAP&catalogId=10104&expCheckout=&orderEmail=&langId

I started to look into Canadian Pharmacies and found a couple that offered this same over $100 drug for $38.99 to $49.00. Better than ½ price! How can this be possible?

Canadian Pharmacy Links:
http://www.canadapharmacy.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/site.home3
http://www.pharmacyescrow.com/
http://www.canadamedicineshop.com/

When I spoke to one of these companies earlier in the evening they cautioned that there are many pretenders in the business.  They said to look at the site and insure that it had a button for pharmacychecker,com and cipa.com.  Make sure to click them to insure they are authentic.  These are the Canadian requirement to insure quality and safety I think such as our Better Business bureau would be.

So, here are the questions:
1. Has anyone ordered from a Canadian Pharmacy?
2. What was your experience? Is there one you can recommend or warn everyone to stay away from?
3. Are there any readers in Canada who can point us in the right direction?
4. Are there any bloggers who have done a post on this subject? I would be happy to add the links of the pros and cons of mail order.

I have stood in line behind elderly people in the pharmacy and the amount of their monthly drug bill is astronomical compared to the older clothing they wear and possibly cannot afford to replace. It would seem possible to use almost an entire Social Security check to keep one's blood pressure down.  As I sit with my sinus headache I contemplate what decision I will make and would like to hear your thoughts.

Gather Little by Little has sent the following links to the discussion.  Thank you!
http://www.moneycrashers.com/prescription-drugs-are-consumers-paying-too-much/
http://www.moneycrashers.com/online-prescriptions-tips-on-staying-safe/

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carol,
I have used a Canadian Pharmacy for about 7 years and have never had a problem. I was prescribed Arthrotec 75 for my arthritis. It has been the only thing that has helped and has no side effects for me. In the states, 180 pills, a 3 month supply would cost $500.00. There was no way that I could afford that. I researched Canadian pharmacies and chose Pharmacy Rx World in Ontario. Their price for the 180 pills is just $148.00. Oh yes, that includes the shipping.

Be careful because once you start looking at Canadian pharmacies online then you will get an onslaught of spam. But not from this company. I no longer order online. Instead I call their toll free number and can also fax my prescription to them. Make sure your doctor gives you a three month prescription and at least 2 or 3 refills. Then you wont have to waste money going to your doctor just to get a prescription. Your order may take up to a month to receive. Mine is shipped from England and usually arrives within two weeks. Make sure you don't run out before placing your order.
This obviously would not work for medication that you require immediately.

The pharmacists have always been very polite and helpful.
www.pharmacyrxworld.com Phone: 1-866-401-3784 Fax: 1-866-405-3784

Hope this will help others.

E said...

Not insure but ensure. You are not buying insurance.

"insure they are authentic"

Carol said...

Thanks. I have been catching myself doing that a lot lately. Always appreciate the editing.

www.rx247.net/aliskiren-hydrochlorothiazide.html said...

Established in 2002, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association ("CIPA") is a Canadian association of licensed retail pharmacy businesses offering mail order pharmacy services to Canadian and international consumers. CIPA has appeared frequently in the news as an advocate for safe online pharmacy practices and the lower prices of drugs available outside of the United States, though not without significant controversy,. CIPA standards and practices have been described as "likely becoming a major part of the health care system in the near future". In 2009, CIPA was invited to present at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum on "Medicines on the Web - Risks nd Benefits",. In February 2010, CIPA was selected by Google to be its official verifier of pharmacy advertisements in Canada, a role it held until April 2012. CIPA has also been selected as Canadian verification authority for Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! online pharmacy advertising.