White Plains, NY – January 15, 2019 – More than ninety medications were removed from the formularies of two large pharmacy benefit managers, Express Scripts and Caremark, at the close of 2018. This leaves over 200 million Americans who may need these drugs to pay potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars per month out-of-pocket. According to research by PharmacyChecker, 29 of those dropped brand-name drugs are available and can be ordered from international online pharmacies for savings that range between 15% and 95% off average U.S. retail pharmacy prices. These lower-priced medications are available at licensed pharmacies located in several countries, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Nineteen of the 29 medications do not have generic versions available in the United States: for five of those 19 medications (Atripla, Daklinza, Flarex, Maxidex, and Sovaldi), the generic versions are already approved for sale in other countries and available to order from online pharmacies.
Neupro (rotigotine) is prescribed for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome. Thirty 4 mg patches of Neupro can cost American patients $793.77. Online shoppers can find the same strength and amount for as much as 74% off—$210—by comparing prices among verified pharmacies using PharmacyChecker.com’s price comparison tool. Ninety tablets of Atripla (efavirenz / emtricitabine / tenofovir), an HIV drug, cost $9,222.21 in the U.S. but can be ordered online from licensed foreign pharmacies for $3,803.45. Additionally, the generic version of Atripla (efavirenz / emtricitabine / tenofovir) is not available in the U.S., but it is available to order from abroad for as little as $305 for a three months’ supply—a potential savings of 97%.
According to the FDA’s sources, there are 34,000 rogue online pharmacies, which are pharmacies that are more likely to sell counterfeit or substandard drugs and don’t require a valid prescription. Peer-reviewed research shows that rogue online pharmacies can be avoided by sticking to online pharmacies credentialed by PharmacyChecker, which are similar in safety to U.S. pharmacies and meet the standards of the PharmacyChecker Verification Program.
“Don’t be fooled by sites that offer the lowest drug prices. It’s critical for patients to protect their health by avoiding rogue online pharmacies that are more likely to sell substandard or counterfeit drugs,” says Dr. Shivam Patel, a licensed pharmacist in Massachusetts who oversees the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. “Through the PharmacyChecker Verification Program, we evaluate an online pharmacy’s credentials. Patients who stick to PharmacyChecker-verified pharmacies not only get savings but greater assurance that they will receive the right medicine from a licensed pharmacy.”
|Brand Drug Prices at U.S. Pharmacies vs. Ordering from International Online Pharmacies|
|Drug||U.S. Pharmacy Price||Lowest Brand Price at International Online Pharmacies||Savings|
|Dropped by Caremark|
|Benzaclin 1%/5%+^ (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide) 50 g jar||$372.22||$77.16||79%|
|Cambia 50 mg+ (diclofenac potassium) 9 packets/sachets||$749.36||$124.95||83%|
|Invokamet 150mg/1000mg* (canagliflozin and metformin hydrochloride) 60 tablets||$569.84||$174.99||69%|
|Invokana 300 mg* (canagliflozin) 30 tablets||$577.81||$150.00||74%|
|Jentadueto 2.5mg/1000mg* (linagliptin and metformin hydrochloride) 60 tablets||$540.56||$160.00||70%|
|Praluent 75 mg/mL* (alirocumab) 2 pens||$1,383.76||$849||39%|
|Tradjenta 5 mg* (linagliptin) 90 tablets||$1463.55||$251||83%|
|Dropped by Express Scripts|
|Alocril 2% (nedocromil sodium ophthalmic solution) 15 mL||$754.59||$72.99||90%|
|Alomide 0.1%* (Iodoxamide tromethamine ophthalmic solution) 10 mL||$185.54||$41.95||77%|
|Atripla 600mg/200mg/300mg*+ (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) 90 tablets||$9,222.21||$3,803.45||59%|
|Cortifoam 10%* (hydrocortisone acetate) 15 g||$432.37||$99.99||77%|
|Daklinza 60 mg*+ (daclatasvir) 28 tablets||$22,247.75||$10,924.99||51%|
|Emadine 0.05%* (emedastine difumarate ophthalmic solution) 5 mL||$147.38||$34.99||76%|
|Flarex 0.1%*+ (fluorometholone acetate ophthalmic solution) 5 mL||$98.51||$34.21||65%|
|Maxidex 0.1%*+ (dexamethasone ophthalmic suspension) 5 mL||$105.72||$32.50||69%|
|Namenda XR 28 mg (memantine hydrochloride) 30 capsules||$541.98||$458.95||15%|
|Neupro 4 mg* (rotigotine transdermal system) 30 patches||$793.77||$210.00||74%|
|Pradaxa 150 mg* (dabigatran etexilate) 60 capsules||$480||$74.15||85%|
|Pred Mild 0.12%* (prednisolone acetate ophthalmic suspension) 5 mL||$169.71||$38.99||77%|
|Pregnyl 10,000 units* (chorionic gonadotropin for injection USP) 1 vial||$143.61||$106.99||26%|
|Savaysa 15 mg* (edoxaban) 10 tablets||$125.34||$73.99||41%|
|Sovaldi 400 mg*+ (sofosbuvir) 28 tablets||$29,660.75||$21,809.99||27%|
|Uroxatral 10 mg+^ (alfuzosin hydrochloride) 30 tablets||$84.36||$33.99||60%|
|Vagifem 10 mcg+^ (estradiol vaginal insert) 18 vaginal inserts||$596||$45.15||92%|
|Viagra 100 mg+^ (sildenafil citrate) 10 tablets||$780||$110||86%|
|Vivelle-Dot 0.05 mg+ (estradiol transdermal system) 8 patches||$168.26||$74||56%|
|Xadago 50 mg* (safinamide) 30 tablets||$911.49||$158.99||83%|
|Yasmin 3/0.03 mg+^ (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) 28 tablets||$150.48||$29.99||80%|
|Zonegran 100 mg+^ (zonisamide) 100 capsules||$1,669.93||$77.95||95%|
|*No generic available in the U.S. +Generic version available at PharmacyChecker-verified online pharmacies ^ Generic available in U.S. and abroad is still cheaper abroad. Sources: Generic availability: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/; Price data collected December 2018. U.S. prices based on “average retail price” listed on GoodRx.com; International online pharmacy prices are lowest brand price listed on PharmacyChecker.com from licensed pharmacies that sell to Americans and meet the qualifications of the PharmacyChecker Verification Program.|
Although buying medications internationally is federally prohibited under most circumstances, individuals have never been prosecuted for ordering medication to fill non-controlled prescriptions from international online pharmacies. Over 20 million Americans have imported medication to save money.
PharmacyChecker offers other free services for consumers looking to save money on their prescription medications, such as discount coupons to use at local American pharmacies and information regarding patient assistance programs. Patient assistance programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies are geared toward lower-income individuals without health insurance. Consumers should also consider therapeutic alternatives that may be available within their prescription coverage plan in consultation with their health providers.
PharmacyChecker 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 verifications and price comparisons have been referenced by AARP Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, MSN, and others.