the latest one, of about twenty I've written on the topic. Search "reimportation" in the upper left-hand search box -- for the rest.]
This morning, the editors of The Gray Lady lay out a very calm, sensible, and data driven argument in favor of reducing the medicine costs for the lower one third of our population, by allowing reimportation -- sanctioned, licensed reimportation. [And I will offer that this is the logical implication of their well-taken argument.]
In the mean time, they advocate buying from reputable online pharmacies. In almost every case, the buyer is getting the very same drug, from the very same manufacturing line, at a plant in Puerto Rico or Costa Rica or New Jersey, from the very same branded drug maker, as they would obtain at the local brick and mortar Walgreens or CVS -- but at a mere fraction of the price.
Fifty million Americans a year do not fill prescriptions their doctors write, or do not pick them up, because they cannot pay for the drugs. That is a national tragedy, and likely increases the costs, overall, to the health care system -- when these very sick, unmedicated people finally present at -- you guessed it, the local ER. That, my dear readers, serves no one. Not even the PhRMA member companies. But from at least 2006 through 2008, that political hack Billy Tauzin, a Republican and former Congressman out of the Bayou State -- sitting as the head of PhRMA -- shoved that preposterous agenda down the throats of the American public.
It is time for the government payors to negotiate, en masse, with both generic and branded pharma and biologics makers -- with the goal of reaching sustainable pricing for people who qualify by lack of income for food stamps. It makes no sense that the poor in India and China and now Egypt are getting drugs at one-one-thousanth the price that people making less than $14,000 per year are charged here in the States. These drugs are as as far out of reach to poor Americans as they are for poor Indians or Egyptians. Here is the op ed -- do go read it -- and a bit:
. . . .There are no reported examples of Americans dying by taking real, but F.D.A.-unapproved, medication bought online from a foreign pharmacy that requires valid prescriptions. This is after tens of millions of prescriptions have been filled online and internationally over the past 15 or so years, since online pharmacies were created. . . .
If the F.D.A. wants to protect drug makers from lower-cost imports then it should say so and tell Congress to more aggressively enforce the law. Its officials should not equate counterfeit and imported drugs. This erroneous conflation will make it more likely that regulators will seize and destroy people’s imported medication. Legal or not, that would be downright unethical. . . .
Indeed. Do go read it all -- there is a recommendation of a website from which safe meds may be ordered (shipped from Canadian sources). [This one is the result of my continued thinking -- about the global prices charged for revolutionary, life-saving medicines around the world -- see the last six or so posts, below.]