Government

A whopping one billion dollars per year in savings from importing prescription drugs… wow⁉️⁉️

The CBO estimates that importing prescription drugs from Canada, etc. as proposed in Sen Sanders legislation would save about $7 billion over ten years.

That is before any possible consequences like the impact on research and development or the fact other governments place caps on drug prices that are subsidized by the US or the impact on supplies in Canada if exports skyrocketed and Canada’s reaction to all that.

But no matter $1 billion a year in (I know that’s more than $7 billion/10, but different estimates) savings is a lot of money, right? Actually it’s less than three tenths of one percent of what the US spends on prescription drugs. 3/10 of 1%. That’s equal to about $4.50 per year for each of the Americans taking a prescription drug.

How much of an impact would a 3/10% raise have on your living standards?🤓

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5 replies »

  1. The problem with many people in the USA, is they are lazy. They do not watch their diet or exercise. I was taking a diuretic medication for edema. I had let my weight get up to 285 (lazy and stupid for a 60 year old who is just 5 ft 10 in.
    I cut many junk carbs out of my diet and started walking 1 to 3 miles or more every day.
    In a year I lost 50 pounds and I no longer need the medication. Diet and exercise are the best cures for many of our bodies ailments, but too many except or demand a pill to fix what they have done to themselves. Sure some medications are truly needed, but it should be short tern for most people. With all the side effects of modern medications, why would anyone not try diet and exercise first – it might even save them some money.

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  2. But you see, if your plan and other plans bought your Rx from Canada the price would no longer be, could no longer be $1380 because the US subsidy would disappear. I agree the marketing of drugs to the public must stop.

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    • What US subsidy? They charge an extra $8620 in the US. Do I think it would stay at $1380, no. I would expect it to rise some. I would expect the drug companies to make their price “more fair” by charging other countries more instead of trying to make all their profit from the US market.

      Maybe the Canadian price is what the pills cost. Maybe it is just the cost of doing business in the US of marketing, lobbyist, lawyers, middleman controlling distribution and 3rd party billing.

      After thinking about this some more, the US allows drug monopolies thur patent protection to “recover costs” but it does not appear that the rest of the world is helping to pay for the R&D costs but they benefit from the drugs. Maybe the drugs companies need to be treated like a monopoly or a utility. Have them declared their R&D costs on the first day of FDA approval and the let them have a fair rate of return percentage for profit. Even have the generics pay for that R&D cost payback.

      I don’t think this will really work, but the idea is to prevent price gouging until the patent runs out. I do not know how to do that.

      Of course as a consumer I can choose not to take the drug but than what will be my hospital costs be over the long term. As a patient, I have to trust my doctors because I do not understand the conflicting research and I have no idea if the doctors can be trusted to understand the information. Look at the opioid marketing that was taken as medical fact.

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      • Other countries place caps on drug prices thus shifting more costs to US and thereby causing us to subsidize their policies.

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  3. There is something fundamentally wrong with how the US allows drug companies to charge for prescription medication. I am all for free markets and capitalism but something is wrong. I believe part of the problem could the US patent laws offering protectionism to the drug companies. It could also be the high cost of litigation in the US. The US should not be the only county that pays for the world’s R&D cost. The US should not be paying the R&D costs only to have the drugs made overseas either.

    Case in point. I saw a print ad last week for one of my drugs that in the US cost my prescription plan $10,000 a year. If they bought the exact same prescription from Canada it would only cost $1,380 or about 86% less. The other thing is that my prescription’s price fluctuates like a commodity. You can’t tell me that the drug company does not know exactly how many people are on this drug and how many pills to make. This drug is already imported into both the US and into Canada so why the cost difference? If Canada was subsidizing the drug, then you would think that they would prevent the Canada pharmacies from selling the drugs across the border. The US claims that the drugs from other countries do not meet the FDA rules is BS too since this drug is imported into both countries.

    $8,620.00 is real money and is a lot more that $4.20. This would have a large impact on insurance plans and people paying 100% out of pocket. I am not sure what the unintended consequences would be if Congress starts messing with trying to regulate drug pricing, but to me there is already something wrong with the US laws that allow the companies to rape the American people compare to other countries. I think the solution might be to look at the other costs such as litigation rather than trying to regulate prices.

    And remember to ask your doctor about drugs that you see on TV. (another cost that makes no sense to me).

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