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Online Pharmacies May Help Many Afford Prescription Medication Under Obamacare


White Plains, New York — September 30, 2013 —Millions of Americans will continue to find U.S. drug prices out of reach under Obamacare because many insurance plans do not adequately cover the cost of prescribed medications. A new analysis of drug prices by PharmacyChecker.com provides some hope: Americans paying out-of-pocket for brand name medication can save 87% by shopping online from verified international online pharmacies, such as those based in Canada.


According to the Commonwealth Fund, twenty-one percent of insured Americans did not fill a prescription due to cost in 2012. Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of PharmacyChecker.com cautions, "As more Americans access health care under the new programs, more prescriptions will be generated and the amount of unfilled prescriptions may further increase as people find the brand name drugs unaffordable in the U.S."


For just a single common medication the savings available online can be thousands of dollars per year. An example is the popular anti-depression drug Abilify (aripiprazole). A three-month supply of Abilify (10 mg) costs $2,582.97 at a local New York pharmacy, but is available for as little as $331.20 from a legitimate online pharmacy outside the U.S. that sells to Americans.


Prices for a 3-month supply of top-selling brand name medications*

Drug Local Pharmacy Price International Online Pharmacy Price International Online Savings Annual Dollar Savings
Abilify 10 mg+ $2,582.97 $331.20 87.18% $9,007.08
Advair Diskus 250-50 mcg $1,061.97 $108.00 89.83% $3,815.88
Celebrex 200 mg $692.97 $104.00 84.99% $2,355.88
Crestor 20 mg+ $713.97 $74.00 89.64% $2,559.88
Cymbalta 60 mg+ $878.97 $90.00 89.76% $3,155.88
Diovan 160 mg+ $475.99 $62.10 86.95% $1,655.56
Januvia 100 mg+ $1,026.00 $131.40+ 87.19% $3,578.40
Namenda 10 mg++ $1,049.97 $210.60 79.94% $3,357.48
Nexium 40 mg+ $878.97 $67.50 92.32% $3,245.88
Spiriva Handihaler 18 mcg $1,115.97 $132.15 88.16% $3,935.28
Average $1,047.78 $131.10 87.60% $3,666.72

*Sources: Local pharmacy -- Rite Aid in New York City; International online pharmacies – lowest prices found on www.PharmacyChecker.com from verified websites. +price calculated from 84 pills. ++price calculated from 100 pills.



PharmacyChecker.com found that the potential savings from online pharmacies increased from 85% last year to the current 87%. This is due to the fact that brand name drug prices generally increased in the U.S. while staying the same or decreasing in other countries due to price controls.


Americans who buy medication online from international pharmacies for their own use have not been prosecuted by the government, despite federal prohibitions that make most such purchases illegal. The FDA is not responsible for pharmaceuticals sold outside the U.S., but other drug and pharmacy regulatory authorities, such as Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate, protect their drug supplies. The products analyzed for this study are manufactured or distributed by global drug companies based in the European Union, Japan, or the U.S., which typically sell medications for lower prices in countries outside the U.S.


PharmacyChecker.com was founded by Tod Cooperman, M.D. in 2002 to help consumers safely save money on medication by identifying the lowest drug prices from reputable online pharmacies. PharmacyChecker.com independently checks the credentials of online pharmacies and pharmacy discount cards and provides free and easy online comparisons of drug prices.


For more information, contact Gabriel Levitt, Vice President, PharmacyChecker.com at 718-387-4526 or gabriel.levitt@pharmacychecker.com.