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Falling U.S. Dollar and Tighter Supply Reduced Savings from Canada; But Overseas Pharmacies Help Fill Void with Lower Prices

  WHITE PLAINS, NY — Wednesday, January 5, 2005 —

A new report released today by finds that the average savings to Americans on brand-name drugs purchased from Canada fell from 38% at the beginning of 2003 to only 29% by the end of 2004.’s 2003/2004 Online Drug Price Report attributes this decrease to the falling U.S. dollar and to supply restrictions that drove up the wholesale cost of drugs. tracked 30 popular brand-name drug prices from early 2003 to late 2004 from Canadian and U.S. online pharmacies as well as from online pharmacies in the UK and Israel that recently entered the global online pharmacy industry. Overseas pharmacies are increasingly important industry players, and their importance will grow if Canada closes or restricts its cross-border pharmacy industry.

The report indicates that some Canadian online pharmacies were successful at keeping prices relatively low by evading drug company supply restrictions; accessing the clandestine but legal secondary market in Canada in which pharmacies pay neighboring pharmacies a mark-up (about 7 – 15%) above normal wholesale prices; and referring orders to overseas pharmacy partners with lower prices. As a result, savings of 40% or more are still available on many brand-name drugs at some pharmacies. The lowest-priced Canadian online pharmacies are often as much as 30% lower in price than other Canadian online pharmacies (see table below with recent price ranges). “Americans can still save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on their drug bills from Canada and other online pharmacies. But they have to shop around more than in the past,” said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president and founder of

The report also shows that about 7% of brand-name drugs are now less expensive at some U.S. online pharmacies than from their Canadian counterparts. For example, the average U.S. price of Norvasc (10mg – 100 pills), a Pfizer drug for treating high blood pressure, is 2% lower than the average Canadian price. Shipping costs from U.S. pharmacies also tend to be lower than those from Canada (approximately $2 versus $10 per order, respectively).

Drug Prices on 12/31/04
Drug Drug Company U.S. High/Low Canada High/Low Israel United Kingdom
Lipitor (20mg-90 pills)
$315.99 - 275.97
$234.50 - 169.98
Norvasc (10mg-100 pills)
$212.21 - 188.86
$234.50 - 179.98
Zocor (20mg-100 pills)
$451.10 - 396.63
$274.58 - 212.30
Prevacid (30mg-90 pills)
Abbott (Tap)
$410.97 - 367.80
$257.37 - $176.13
Nexium (40mg-28 pills)
Astra Zeneca
$138.12 - 112.33
$93.98 - $61.38

The 2003/2004 Online Drug Price Report can be purchased by contacting Gabriel Levitt at or (718) 387-4526.

Visitors to get free pharmacy ratings, in-depth pharmacy profiles, and comparisons of recent prices on over 1,000 brand name and generic drugs.’s Guide to Low-Cost Canadian and U.S. Pharmacies is available in paperback and can be ordered direct from 800-431-1579. Special group and bulk rates are available. is privately held and based in White Plains, New York. It has no ownership in or from companies that sell or distribute pharmacy products.