White Plains, NY – April 26, 2018 – As drug price increases continue to outpace inflation, American seniors can save an average of 80% on brand-name medication by shopping for their prescription medications online and ordering internationally, according to new research by PharmacyChecker.com.
A recent U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report, requested by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), found that prices for the 20 drugs most widely-prescribed through Medicare Part D in 2015 increased an average of 12 percent each year between 2012 and 2017. Twelve of the twenty drug prices increased over 50% during the five-year period. In the case of Nitrostat, a heart medication, the price rose by 477%.
PharmacyChecker.com research shows that eighteen of the twenty medications included in the report are available for purchase from online pharmacies with verified credentials at significant savings. Savings as high as 98% were found. Premarin, a menopause medication, is $6.93 per tablet in the U.S. but only 17 cents per tablet if ordered online from a pharmacy in the U.K. The proton-pump inhibitor, Nexium, is $9.59 per 40 mg pill in the U.S. compared to 21 cents per pill when purchased from Indian pharmacies.
Additionally, PharmacyChecker.com research shows that 14 out of the 20 medications (70%) identified in the Senate report, those sold in U.S. pharmacies, are not made in the U.S. For example, the Nexium 40 mg capsule sold in the United States, marketed by AstraZeneca, is manufactured in India and France, thus patients who order internationally are likely to receive the exact same medication, but in tablets (the formulation for Nexium required in other countries) rather than capsules. The only difference is cost.
Although buying and importing medications internationally to fill prescriptions is federally prohibited under most circumstances, approximately 20 million Americans have imported medication to save money, and, with no individual ever having been prosecuted for doing so, legislation to expressly permit personal drug importation has been introduced in Congress.
"The increases in drug costs identified by the Senate report are a major contributor to nonadherence among patients, and verified international online pharmacies are a tangible solution for Americans seeking financial relief," said Dr. Shivam Patel, a licensed pharmacist in Massachusetts who oversees the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. “Patient access to affordable medication is often the difference between life and death."
|20 Most Prescribed Drugs in U.S. Cheaper Online|
|U.S. Medication||Cost Per Pill or Unit*|
|Brand Name (Strength)||Country Manufactured||U.S.||International Online Pharmacy||Savings|
|1||Premarin (0.625 mg)||Canada||$6.93||$0.17 United Kingdom||98%|
|2||Januvia (100 mg)||United Kingdom||$17.71||$0.81 Singapore||95%|
|3||Crestor (10 mg)||Germany||$10.77||$0.27 India||97%|
|4||Advair Diskus (1 inhaler, 250 mcg/50 mcg)||United Kingdom||$479.00||$24.31 Singapore||95%|
|5||Lyrica (75 mg)||Singapore||$9.34||N/A **||N/A|
|6||Nexium (40 mg)||France and India||$9.59||$0.21 India||98%|
|7||Symbicort Inhaler (1 inhaler, 160 mcg/4.5 mcg)||France||$397.63||$27.09 New Zealand||93%|
|8||Nitrostat (0.6 mg)||Puerto Rico, USA||$0.80||$0.28 Canada||65%|
|9||Proair HFA (1 inhaler, 8.5 g of 90 mcg)||Ireland||$79.20||$46.99 Canada||41%|
|10||Xarelto (20 mg)||Germany and Puerto Rico||$17.34||$1.66 Singapore||90%|
|11||Spiriva Handihaler (18 mcg capsule)||Germany||$15.89||$0.80 Singapore||95%|
|12||Restasis (1 vial of 0.4 mL, .05%)||United States||$10.33||$1.52 India||85%|
|13||Synthroid (50 mcg)||Puerto Rico, USA||$1.68||$0.15 Canada||91%|
|14||Tamiflu (50 mg)||United States||$13.55||$5.68 Canada||58%|
|15||Voltaren Gel (100 g of 1%)||Germany||$72.75||$24.28 United Kingdom||67%|
|16||Zetia (100 mg)||United States||$14.01||$1.67 Turkey||88%|
|17||Novolog (5 x 3mL, 100IU/mL)||Denmark||$560.00||$109.94 Canada (marketed as Novorapid Penfills)||80%|
|18||Zostavax (1 vial of .65 mL)||United States||$269.05||N/A||N/A|
|19||Lantus Solostar (5 x 3mL, 100IU/mL)||Germany||$274.73||$189.00 Canada||31%|
|20||Ventolin HFA (1 inhaler, 18 g of 90 mcg)||United Kingdom||$72.77||$22.95 United Kingdom||68%|
|Average Savings (where available)||80%|
|"Drug selection is based on a U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee report entitled "Manufactured Crisis: How Devastating Drug Price Increases Are Harming America's Seniors" that found prices for the 20 drugs most widely prescribed through Medicare Part D in 2015, on average, increased 12 percent each year between 2012 and 2017. *Sources: Prices collected March 2018. U.S. prices based on “average retail price” on GoodRx.com; International online pharmacy prices are lowest price listed on PharmacyChecker.com from licensed pharmacies that sell to Americans and meet the qualifications of the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. **Lyrica is a controlled substance, and therefore not permitted to be sold to Americans from any international pharmacy verified through the verification program. Patients may print discount cards for Lyrica on PharmacyChecker.com to use at their local U.S. pharmacy."|
PharmacyChecker.com is the only independent company monitoring and verifying the credentials of international online pharmacies and publishing the prices at which drugs are available from these licensed pharmacies. PharmacyChecker was founded in 2002 by Tod Cooperman, M.D. to assist Americans searching online to save money on medication. PharmacyChecker's verifications and price comparisons have been referenced by AARP Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and others.