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Check Out How Much Our Pharmaceutical Companies Are Ripping Us Off For.......

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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 01:51 PM
Original message
Check Out How Much Our Pharmaceutical Companies Are Ripping Us Off For.......
In my mail drop today I received a mailing from Global Pharmacy Canada. This company deals exclusively in generic medications from India's world renown drug manufacturers (per their mailing). They are touting savings of up to 80% if you buy through them.

Here is their website: http://www.globalpharmacycanada.com / (NOTE: I'm not endorsing this company - I'm just blown away by how we are getting ripped off in the U.S. by Big Pharma.)

If you click on the letter of the name of the drug you are taking - you can get an idea of the savings.

For grins - check out Abilify 15mg Quantity 100. They indicate that the average price in the U.S. is $1,266 and their price is $186 for the same amount. This is a savings of $1,080.

You've seen the commercial for Boniva - the one Sally Field appears in. Check out this. The U.S. price for a three month supply or 3 Boniva's is $310 and this companies price is $85 - or a $225 savings.

Now granted - I haven't really checked into this company - but it sure looks mighty enticing. How has our government let us get taken in by Big Pharma to the extent that they have? Look how much Big Pharma is into our pockets for. When is enough - enough?

In their mail piece they say the following: "Consider this, the doughnut hole is the gap in coverage between $2,700 and $4,350. That's $1,650 our of your pocket. With us you would only spend around $415.

I'm pissed off today because my Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Insurance premium was just raised again. I'm now paying over double what I did in 2006.

Check out my earlier post here about this situation:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I'm getting more and more upset every day. How much more are we the American Public going to have to take before we revolt? I getting near my breaking point.
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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Other side issue
When I was in Greece this summer, I stopped into a pharmacy because I saw an ad for an anti-viral cream (I get shingles and have always used Zovorax (sp?). It costs me $45 (I have a prescription drug plan and that's the highest I have to pay). The pharmacist told me not only could I get Zovorax over the counter, I could get the same amount as usual for 12 euro (around $17). I looked around and found that many drugs that we need a script for here are over the counter there.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Amazing is it not, just posted a similar story down below. n/t
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's ILLEGAL to get drugs from Canada
It's only legal under a very limited set of conditions.

They seize the packages and occasionally send you a note that they did it.

"Land of the Free" my ass!

--d!
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I Wonder How Much Big Pharma Paid Off Our Congress To Make .......
it illegal?
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. How many zeros do you have handy for that number?
I should be taking a vasodilating drug to treat TBI -- Traumatic Brain Injury. (Fortunately minor.)

It will run $200-$600 per month. That's half my disability "income".

The very same drug, at the very same dose, is given to horses prophylactically to prevent a hoof problem.

At four CENTS per pill.

So I take gingko biloba. Marginally effective, but it's worth a shot.

--d!
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Can You Talk To A Veterinarian To See If You Can Get It.......
In the past I went to a Farm & Fleet store and bought the veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline over the counter. You might want to see if farm or ranch store outlets in you area have the product you need.

At those prices (not trying to be funny)- you can buy a horse and board it and get your drug from the vet and use it for yourself. At least that way you can have a hobby or race horse.

We are getting ripped and we're just letting Big Pharma get away with this. It is downright criminal.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. I have been informed ...
... that I will lose my insurance if I do that. I have some fairly serious medical problems; I just can't take that risk.

The drug, by the way, is Isoxsuprine. It's an orphan drug, unpatentable, about 80 years old.

At least I can take cheap, generic, first-generation meds for most of my requirements. Isoxsuprine would be one such drug, except that no company would pay to test it according to FDA requirements. Another Catch-22.

But I was without insurance from 1982 onward until 2006, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided I was sufficiently sick and disabled to satisfy the GOP. I began adult life with a big "pre-existing condition". I occasionally had insurance through work, mainly early on; most company policies are permitted to exclude high (financial) risk insureds.

I consider myself lucky -- I have a supportive family, I have not had any additional major problems, and I have fundamental medical literacy, so my life is not a "circus of fear". If I was "slow" mentally, and had no family, life would be hell. And for many people, it IS.

--d!
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. I bought 50 tabs of Valium, 10 mg each, per vet script, for my dog.
Pharmacy charged me 9.00.

I bought FOUR tabs of Valium, 5 mg. each, for myself per my dentist script, prior to dental work.
Same pharmacy charged me 6.00.

I am much wiser now. Pet stores have OTC anti-biotics, for fish bowls.

I am making it my life's mission to deny Big Pharma one more dime.
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. And Guess What - The Approval Process For Getting A Vet Drug Approved Through The FDA......
is more rigorous than for human drugs. Why? Because they are concerned that some drugs will wind up in the food chain - therefore they have to be screened better.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. You are allowed to buy 90 days worth of any drug for personal use from Canada.
Edited on Thu Oct-08-09 02:22 PM by sinkingfeeling
I used a Canadian pharmacy to fill prescription drugs and glaucoma eye drops for my dog for about 4 years. Great savings!
Of course, the savings was better than because the US dollar was stronger against the Canadian dollar.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080727101...
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. It is still technically illegal, but in 2006 restrictions were
eased and people now are buying their medications from Canada without having them confiscated. Not sure what prompted the Bush Administration to stop the draconian seizures of senier's medications, but apparently it was very controversial and was costing them votes.

http://www.naturalnews.com/020630_drugs_seizures_prescr...

U.S. government announces it will stop illegal seizures of prescription drugs from Canada

(NaturalNews) The U.S. government announced yesterday that it will no longer seize small shipments of illegal Canadian pharmaceuticals at the border, which overturns months of aggressive seizures that have resulted in 40,000 confiscations nationwide.

Though it is still illegal to import pharmaceuticals from Canada or other countries, the government says it is backing off strict enforcements that have irritated elderly consumers buying cheaper Canadian drugs. However, the Bush administration still claims that importing Canadian drugs is dangerous because the medicines could be inferior or counterfeit.


They were still telling the lie that Canadian drugs were inferior to US drugs. Many times, they are the exact same products. But sold here for far more money.





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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. This is good news
The bad news is, at least according to what I've heard, is that there are still confiscations going on. They tend to go after shipments to states without strong pro-consumer efforts.

There is probably a lot of "official lawlessness" going on. We need an actual mainstream policy for this.

--d!
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. I agree with you.
It seems outrageous to make it illegal for Americans to buy prescriptions drugs from Canada if they cannot afford to buy them here. What happened to the free market? Isn't that what's about? If the US Pharmaceutical Companies cannot compete with other countries, shouldn't they have to adjust their prices in order to do so?

I wonder how many of those tens of thousands of Americans who are dying each year are dying because they cannot afford to buy their prescription drugs?
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was shocked also when I was helping some
elderly relatives who had fallen into the 'donut hole'. I didn't even know what that was at first, but they had gone to pick up medication and were told that their funds for medication had run out. The bill they received for one medication, was over $500.00 for one month. They also had other medications.

So, I started to call people and was told to check out Canadian online pharmacies. We also found out that many seniors ARE buying their medications from Canada.

When I checked the difference in cost, as you just found out, it was at least four times less for the same medication in Canada.

I have checked with some other people who are buying from Canada, before ordering for these relatives. Two people I've contacted so far, say they are very satisfied with the Canadian online pharmacies.

I have no idea why there has not been a revolt long ago. Tens of thousands of deaths, and the cost of treatment and medications would have caused such a revolt in most other countries by now.

Americans appear to be far more willing to accept this kind of abuse than citizens of most other developed countries. The only reason I can think of for that attitude, is the constant indoctrination about the 'free market' and 'communism'. If now is not the time to shut down that kind of propaganda, I don't know when it will it be.

But even here on a Democratic board, there are far too many people who have every excuse they can think of for why once we had a majority, a Single Payer system was not pushed for right away. So long as there are apologists for the corruption, it's hard to get rid of it.
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. This Morning I Read In A Newsletter From The Agency For Healthcare Research & Quality ......
which is put out by the government - U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services. Their website is: www.ahrq.gov .

The article was "High Prescription Drug Copays May Resutl In Patients Delaying Therapy". The gist of this article is that - health insurance plans are increasing the copays for prescriptions and as a result patients are waiting longer to start taking newly prescribed meds.

I've read other articles in other periodicals that say because of the cost of prescription meds - patients make the decision not to take them and put themselves in more risk because they are not then being treated. The upshot of this is that they potentially get worse and then cost the system more money.

We're continually shooting ourselves in the foot for health care. High cost = less compliant patients and results in more care and more money spent at a later time - because of their inaction when it was appropriate.


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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. I just mentioned this in my post above. Are some of the tens of
thousands of Americans who are dying every year, dying because they cannot afford to buy prescriptions ordered by their doctors?

I think the answer is probably 'yes'. And this may be why the restrictions have been relaxed, because if the US will not provide affordable health care for its poor and elderly, and the public learns that this is causing huge numbers of deaths, there would have been far more outrage than there has been.

I think it's only now that all of this is being exposed, maybe too late to stop a Health-care bill that will still benefit the Insurance Industry. I think, considering the public is only now learning just how bad it is, any reform should be delayed until it addresses all these life and death issues.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is why people who could were hopping over the boarder to
Mexico and Canada to get Prescriptions filled. Before we
got the Prescription Drug Legislation, they were going by the bus loads.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. As far as I know there is nothing in the proposed bills to allow...
Medicare to negotiate drug prices, let alone the entire country under a SP system.

Differin gel - $109.00 cost After my prescription plan paid their portion.

I paid $9.00 in Istanbul and $25.00 in Italy, this was in 2007.

Same company - Galderma Labs.


http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPla...

"...Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices. The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug
Improvement and Modernization Act bans the government from negotiating down the prices of
prescription drugs, even though the Department of Veterans Affairs negotiation of prescription drug prices with drug companies has garnered significant savings for taxpayers.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which could be as high as $30 billion, to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality..."


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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. From the link in the OP - $117.00 in the US for this medication. n/t
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The River Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
17. Generics from India?
Under the FAQ section

"We source all of our medications from India, the world's largest manufacturer of generic medications. India's manufacturing facilities are world-renowned for their product quality and safety. In fact, these same manufacturing facilities often supply the base ingredients for many of the brand-name versions of the drugs that are sold in US pharmacies."
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I Know And Feel Your Skepticism Here About India........
but it is true that many raw chemical ingredients are supplied to U.S. companies by Indian companies and companies in Asia. These facilities have to be FDA approved. Occasionally we hear of problems with foreign manufacturers of raw chemicals - but we have similar issues with U.S. based companies and recalls of products because of poor manufacturing, quality control issues or just plain negligence. I think if you wanted to - you can go to the FDA website and monitor drug recalls.

It's interesting to note that some of the products that are shipping out of India through this Canadian company are still under patent in the U.S. I can't help but think that this is giving Big Pharma U.S. 'kaniption fits'. Seems to me that this borders on illegal - but I'm not a patent lawyer, etc.

If it were me - I'd want to know the source of the drug that I'd be taking and then I would want to make sure that the source was not in any FDA hotwater.
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