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70% of Popular Brand Name Drugs Sold in U.S. Pharmacies Are Imported; Cost Up to 87% Less in Canada


White Plains, NY – August 3, 2017 – New research by PharmacyChecker.com, a company that credentials international online pharmacies and compares their prices, shows that 70% of top-selling brand name drugs sold in U.S. pharmacies are manufactured outside the country. The research also shows that these same drugs are sold for up to 87% less in Canada and 97% less in other countries. Prescription drug price comparisons and information regarding the PharmacyChecker Verification Program are freely available on its website.


In 2011, to highlight growth in drug imports, the FDA testified before Congress that 80% of active pharmaceutical ingredients in medications and 40% of finished prescription drugs sold in the U.S. were foreign-made. PharmacyChecker.com found that 14 of the 20 most popular, non-controlled, brand name drugs sold in the U.S. (as identified by IMS Health data in 2015) are manufactured outside the U.S., which is 70%, a rate much higher than the FDA’s figure.


“There’s an outrageous double-standard being applied by the FDA that tells Americans that it’s categorically dangerous to personally import their prescription medications when so many medications sold here at home are imported but often cost two to five times more,” stated CEO and founder of PharmacyChecker.com, Tod Cooperman, MD.


PharmacyChecker also found that these products can be purchased from Canadian pharmacies in the PharmacyChecker Verification Program at an average savings of 70%. If purchased from PharmacyChecker-verified pharmacies in other countries, Americans can save up to 97%. All medications identified in the report are available online from PharmacyChecker-verified international online pharmacies.


An example of an imported medication is Januvia 100 mg (sitagliptin), a popular drug used to treat Type 2 Diabetes, which is made in the UK. Januvia is sold at U.S. pharmacies for $14.88 per pill, but it can be purchased for as little as $3.04 from pharmacies in the UK, New Zealand or Australia. Viagra 100mg (sildenafil citrate), Pfizer’s popular erectile dysfunction drug, is made in Ireland. Viagra is sold at U.S. pharmacies for $58.72 per pill, but can be purchased for $10.77 from Canada—or for as little as $4.44 from pharmacies in India. Flovent, made in the UK, is a corticosteroid used to treat symptoms of asthma. It costs $781.00 for three inhalers in the U.S. compared to $173.27 in Canada, and consumers can find savings up to 92% off by using the price comparisons on PharmacyChecker.com.


With drug prices in the United States continuing to rise, approximately nineteen million Americans say they have imported medication for personal use. Although personal drug importation is technically prohibited, it’s important to note that individuals have never been prosecuted for doing so.


Founded in 2002, PharmacyChecker.com is the leading website for comparing prices of medications available online from licensed online pharmacies around the world whose credentials have been verified though the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. The program is under the direction of Kelly Ann Barnes, JD, RPh, a registered pharmacist and former Director of Pharmacy Quality Assurance for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy.


PharmacyChecker.com International Savings Report: 2Q2017
Medications Cost Per Pill (unless otherwise noted) Potential Savings vs. USA

Brand Name (Condition treated)

Strength

Country Made In *

Drug Company

USA

CAN

UK / AUS / NZ

India

Turkey

CAN

UK / AUS / NZ

India

Turkey

Abilify (psychosis, depression)

5 mg

Japan

Otsuka

$34.51

$4.65

$6.23

N/A

$2.25

87%

82%

N/A

93%

Advair Diskus (asthma) [1]

250mcg/ 50mcg

UK

GSK: Glaxo operations

$1,277.00

$377.62

$217.41

$84.99

$102.00

70%

83%

93%

92%

Bystolic (high blood pressure)

10 mg

USA

Forrest Pharmaceuticals

$4.71

$2.36

N/A

N/A

N/A

50%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Celebrex (pain, inflammation)

200 mg

Singapore

Pfizer

$13.72

$1.91

$1.05

N/A

N/A

86%

92%

N/A

N/A

Cialis (erectile dysfunction)

5 mg

USA (Puerto Rico)

Lily

$12.13

$4.44

$4.36

N/A

$3.52

63%

64%

N/A

71%

Crestor (cholesterol)

10mg

Germany

CordenPharma GmbH

$11.37

$2.04

$1.82

$0.39

$0.40

82%

84%

97%

96%

Flovent HFA (asthma) [1]

110 mcg

UK

GSK

$781.00

$173.27

$152.40

N/A

$65.99

78%

80%

N/A

92%

Januvia (diabetes)

100 mg

UK

MSD

$14.88

$4.35

$3.04

$2.00

$1.17

71%

80%

87%

92%

Lantus Solostar (diabetes) [2]

3 ml

Germany

Sanofi

$1,160.39

$447.00

N/A

N/A

N/A

61%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Namenda (dementia)

10 mg

USA

Forrest Pharmaceuticals

$5.78

$3.56

$1.50

N/A

$1.38

38%

74%

N/A

76%

Nasonex (nasal allergies) [1]

50 mcg

Singapore

MSD

$648.00

$132.53

$113.92

$50.00

$43.97

80%

82%

92%

93%

Nexium (acid reflux)

40 mg

Sweden

Astra Zeneca AB

$7.78

$3.37

$2.21

$0.35

$0.36

57%

72%

96%

95%

Spiriva Handihaler (bronchitis) [1]

18 mcg

Germany

Boehringer-Ingelheim

$1,303.00

$234.90

N/A

$90.00

$269.00

82%

N/A

93%

79%

Symbicort (asthma) [3]

160mcg/ 4.5mcg

France

AstraZeneca Dunkerque Production

$1,446.00

N/A

$319.11

$73.01

$227.00

N/A

78%

95%

84%

Synthroid (thyroid)

100mcg

USA

Abbot Laboratories

$1.69

$0.30

$0.66

$0.36

N/A

82%

61%

79%

N/A

Tamiflu (influenza) [4]

75 mg

USA

Genentech

$473.91

$175.65

N/A

N/A

N/A

63%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Ventolin HFA (bronchial conditions) [1]

18g of 90mcg

UK

GSK (Glaxo Operations)

$206.00

$95.16

$83.31

$37.50

N/A

54%

60%

82%

N/A

Viagra (erectile dysfunction)

100 mg

Ireland

Pfizer

$58.72

$10.77

$8.31

$4.44

$9.27

82%

86%

92%

84%

Xarelto (clots and stroke)

20 mg

Germany or Puerto Rico, USA

Janssen or Bayer

$15.38

$6.19

$6.22

$3.83

N/A

60%

60%

75%

N/A

Zetia (Cholesterol)

10 mg

USA

MSD

$10.17

$2.19

$2.13

N/A

$2.68

78%

79%

N/A

74%

 

Average Savings

70%

76%

89%

86%

[1] Price per 3 inhalers, [2] Full price for three-month supply, [3] Price per 4 inhalers, [4] Price per 30 capsules

*Applies to medication sold in U.S. pharmacies.

Sources: Prices were recorded between May 1st and June 30th, 2017. U.S. prices shown are retail cash prices listed on GoodRX.com. All other prices are from verified online pharmacies and their price comparisons on PharmacyChecker.com.