I just paid $69.99 at Walgreens for 20 cefuroxime 500mg tablets that were prescribed by my doctor for my cold — also called an upper respiratory infection. I thought $3.50 per tablet was rather high so I called Canada Drugs, where the price would have been $51.87 for the same number of tablets– or a little more than $2.50 per tablet.
I'm happy to say that I haven't had to take any medicine for a long time, so I got out of the habit of calling Canada Drugs where, in my experience, the prices have always been considerably less.
There has been a lot of criticism of our government for not making available less expensive drugs from companies outside the U.S. as part of government-sponsored programs like Medicare and Medicaid. In effect, the excuse has been that we have no control over the manufacture of those products and they might not measure up to our standards. — even though many of the prescription drugs offered by American companies today are made outside of the U.S.
The real reason, I believe, is that many millions of dollars are donated to our politicians every year by major drug companies to structure government policies in their favor. And, obviously, it works.
I called Walgreens and told the pharmacist there that the same tablets I purchased cost a dollar less per tablet at Canada Drugs. His response was, "We have no control over the cost of our prescriptions." That is probably true, but it does not answer the question of why, in a country where price competition is common in virtually everything we buy, it does not operate in the purchase of prescription drugs. The answer, I think, can be found in the paragraph above.
FYI, Canada Drugs says all of the prescription drugs they sell are manufactured under government regulations in Canada, England, Australia or New Zealand. Not in the Congo, Malawi or Afghanistan.
According to LeeAnn Hall of People's Action, it’s no surprise that a majority of people, including Republicans, say lowering prescription drug prices should be a top priority for lawmakers. It’s only fair since the public pays for much of the research to develop prescription medications. And there’s simply no reason private drug corporations should be allowed to rake in exorbitant profits on lifesaving medications.
She says one way to start is to require Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Even President Trump has said that drug corporations are “getting away with murder” and that the government should be able to negotiate with drug corporations.
For more information on Canada Drugs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beau Weisman, Editor