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FDA understates percentage of foreign-made medication sold in U.S.


70% Top 40 Brand-name Drugs Sold in U.S. are Imported; Same Drugs Cost up to 96% Less in Canada

White Plains, NY— November 8, 2017— New research from PharmacyChecker.com, an online pharmacy verification and drug price comparison company launched in 2003, has found that the majority of medications sold at local U.S. pharmacies are manufactured abroad and are then sold in the United States with a much higher price tag.


PharmacyChecker.com’s 2nd and 3rd Quarter International Drug Price Savings Reports show that out of 40 popular brand-name drugs sold in the U.S., 70% are imported. The FDA reports that 40% of finished prescription drugs sold in the U.S. are foreign-made. As part of its ongoing research, PharmacyChecker.com has found that 28 of the 40 most popular, non-controlled, brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. (as defined by IMS Health data in 2015) are manufactured outside the U.S.


The PharmacyChecker.com 3rd Quarter International Drug Price Savings Report found 20 popular drugs to be an average of 79% cheaper abroad, with the following average savings per country or group of countries: Canada 67%; Australia/New Zealand/United Kingdom, 79%; Turkey 83%; India 82%.


Recently, the FDA has announced that it will rely on inspection from foreign regulators in Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Malta, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These regulatory authorities have been deemed capable—by the FDA—of conducting inspections of manufacturing facilities abroad in line with FDA standards. According to the Government Accountability Office, there are about 1,000 foreign drug manufacturing plants registered with FDA that have never been inspected by the FDA.


“FDA’s data on the percentage of medication sold in the U.S. that is foreign made appears to be wrong or out of date. Our research shows that most of the brand medications Americans buy at their local pharmacies are foreign-made but are often double, even triple the cost compared to the same drugs sold in Canada. Drug importation is legal for pharmaceutical companies, but, regrettably, American consumers face unjust regulatory barriers to accessing lower-cost options from pharmacies outside the U.S. The FDA says buying medication online is not safe, yet we already rely on foreign regulators to protect our drug supply,” says Gabriel Levitt, president of PharmacyChecker.com. “Regardless of the law, millions of people buy medication online because drug prices here at home are out of reach. Our international pharmacy verifications and price comparisons provide consumers with information to help them afford medication if they choose to order it online from outside the country.”


The medications analyzed are available online fron PharmacyChecker-verified international pharmacies.




ABOUT PHARMACYCHECKER.COM


PharmacyChecker.com is the only independent company that verifies international online pharmacies in addition to comparing their prices. We are a stakeholder in the online consumer-driven healthcare community, seeking an open Internet environment that promotes innovation and new business models, especially those that serve the public health.


Our verifications and price comparisons have been referenced by AARP Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many others.


PharmacyChecker.com International Drug Price Savings Report: 3Q2017

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

Benicar Olmetec -

(high blood pressure)

20 mg

Japan

Daiichi Sankyo

$5.07

$1.37

$0.82

$1.07

$1.83

73%

84%

79%

64%

Benicar HCT Olmetec -

(high blood pressure)

40 mg / 25 mg

Japan

Daiichi Sankyo

$8.37

$1.88

$1.44

N/A

$1.48

78%

83%

N/A

82%

Dexilant (heartburn)

60 mg

Japan

Takeda

$10.46

$2.78

$1.58

N/A

N/A

73%

85%

N/A

N/A

Diovan

(high blood pressure)

160 mg

USA

Novartis

$4.42

$1.79

$1.15

$1.07

$0.60

60%

74%

76%

86%

Humalog

(diabetes)

100 u/ml

USA

Eli Lily

$292.00

$47.99

N/A

N/A

N/A

84%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Janumet

(Type 2 diabetes)

50 / 500mg

USA

Merck

$7.97

$2.53

$2.10

$1.08

$0.59

68%

74%

86%

93%

Lumigan

(eye pressure)

0.01%

Ireland

Allergan

$188.00

$105.00

$18.97

$29.00

N/A

44%

90%

85%

N/A

Namenda Ebixa

(dementia)

10 mg

Ireland

Allergan

$6.94

$3.60

$2.59

N/A

$0.75

48%

63%

N/A

89%

Namenda XR

(dementia)

28 mg.

Ireland

Forest Laboratories (Allergan)

$13.19

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Novolog

(diabetes)

100 u/ml

Denmark (EU)

Novo Nordisk

$316.00

$47.99

N/A

N/A

N/A

85%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Novolog Flexpen

(diabetes)

100 iu/ml

Denmark (EU)

Novo Nordisk

$121.80

$89.99

N/A

N/A

N/A

26%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nuvaring

(birth control)

11.4/2.6 mg

Netherlands

Merck

$158.00

$65.00

$22.00

N/A

$50.00

59%

86%

N/A

68%

Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo 28

(birth control)

0.18 mg/0.025mg, 0.215mg/0.025mg, 0.25mg/0.025mg p

USA

Janssen

$6.36

$0.89

N/A

N/A

N/A

86%

N/A

N/A

N/A

Pataday

(pink eye)

2.5 ml

USA

Alcon Laboratories

$207.00

$68.46

N/A

$33.99

N/A

67%

N/A

84%

N/A

Paxil

(depression)

20 mg

Canada

Bristol-Myers Squibb

$6.83

$2.98

$0.98

N/A

$0.70

56%

86%

N/A

90%

Premarin tablet

(menopause)

3 mg

Canada

Pfizer

$6.45

$0.29

$0.77

$0.94

N/A

96%

88%

85%

N/A

Premarin Cream

(menopause)

6.25mg

Canada

Pfizer

$152.00

$29.99

N/A

$16.00

N/A

80%

N/A

89%

N/A

Proventil HFA or Ventolin HFA

(asthma)

100 (90) mcg

USA

Merck

$89.00

$13.99

$15.00

N/A

N/A

84%

83%

N/A

N/A

Vesicare

(overactive bladder)

10 mg

Ireland

Astella Pharma

$12.57

$2.92

$3.72

N/A

$1.99

77%

70%

N/A

84%

Voltaren Gel

(arthritis)

1%

Germany

Novartis

$57.00

$41.42

$20.33

N/A

N/A

27%

64%

N/A

N/A

 

Average Savings

67%

79%

83%

82%

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


Sources: Prices were recorded between August and September 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