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Back To Vidyya US Prescription Drug Markets May Yield To Foreign Price Pressures

The International Prescription Drug Parity Act Gains Momentum

Calling it a "very hopeful sign" in the fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs in the United States, Congressman Bernard Sanders (I-VT) pointed to 03 May 2000's statements by the Republican leadership's point man on prescription drugs, Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), as proof that the concept of prescription drug re-importation was gaining momentum. Sanders is one of the lead sponsors of HR 1885, the International Prescription Drug Parity Act, which would allow pharmacists and wholesalers to re-import prescription drugs from other countries. Sanders was also pleased with Thomas' statements on the need for the public to get a "fair return" on the billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research given to the pharmaceutical industry through the National Institute of Health (NIH). Sanders is the author of HR 626, which would reinstate the policy by which pharmaceutical companies must agree to charge a "fair and reasonable price" for drugs originally developed with taxpayer funds.

Appearing on the CNN show TalkBack Live yesterday in a debate on prescription drugs with Sanders, House Ways and Means subcommittee Chairman William Thomas (R-CA) said that as long as the medications met strict FDA requirements, he would have "no problem" with legislation to allow the reimportation of prescription drugs from other countries.

"Canada, the United States and Mexico are under North American Free Trade Agreement and we should include pharmaceuticals as part of the trade product that we can deal with in an ongoing normal trade relationship," Thomas said. "If we can work out a program which gives us what we believe we're getting and that is, as Bernie says, an FDA-certified product which is in fact that, there are a number of areas that we can work together on."

"Where taxpayer dollars are invested in research, taxpayer dollars should get a fair return on any profit from that research," Thomas also stated. "There is no reason why [taxpayers] should not get a fair return on their investment just like the pharmaceutical companies when they spend their own money."

Sanders said, "Chairman Thomas's statements yesterday are a very hopeful sign in the ongoing effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs in this country. His expression of support for the free trade, pro-competition approach to dealing with the out of control prices for prescription drugs should send a strong bipartisan message that we need to pass serious legislation immediately. HR 1885 is bi-partisan legislation that would open up the business of FDA-approved prescription drugs to the competitive market. It would allow Americans to purchase prescription drugs at the same prices as the people in Canada, Mexico, Europe and throughout the world. Millions of people throughout the country want Congress to act to bring down the exorbitant prices they are paying for their medications, and I am hopeful that Chairman Thomas' statements will bring us closer to that goal."


Prescription Drug Comparison
Compare Drug Prices between the U.S. and Canada



Drug, Dosage, Quantity

Cost in
US (US$)

Cost in
Can (US$)

Difference
US vs. Can

Discount
in Can

Amitriptilene, 25 mg., 90

$ 20.97

$ 5.50

$ 15.47

74%

Atrovent

$ 35.01

$ 16.50

$ 18.51

53%

Azmacort

$ 50.70

$ 18.85

$ 31.85

63%

Betoptic S, 0.25%, 10

$ 49.80

$ 24.50

$ 25.30

51%

C Lonazepin, .05 mg., 60

$ 83.05

$ 10.50

$ 72.55

87%

Carbamazepine, 200 mg., 30

$ 18.00

$ 6.77

$ 11.23

62%

Cardizim, 180 mg., 30

$ 52.70

$ 36.00

$ 16.70

32%

Casodex, 1 Tablet

$ 10.00

$ 5.50

$ 4.50

45%

Celebrex, 100 mg/cap, 60

$ 77.15

$ 33.75

$ 43.40

56%

Clondine, 0.1 mg., 30

$ 8.27

$ 8.50

$ (0.23)

-3%

Coumadin, 5 mg, 30

$ 20.91

$ 10.50

$ 10.41

50%

Coumadin, 4 mg., 30

$ 20.11

$ 14.50

$ 5.61

28%

Cozaar, 50 mg, 90

$ 101.97

$ 90.00

$ 11.97

12%

Estradiol, 1 mg., 34

$ 9.21

$ 9.55

$ (0.34)

-4%

Evista, 60 mg., 100

$ 181.20

$ 128.00

$ 53.20

29%

Flonase Nasal

$ 46.00

$ 23.00

$ 23.00

50%

Flovent, 220 mcg inhaler

$ 85.70

$ 59.00

$ 26.70

31%

Furosmide, 40 mg., 30

$ 5.80

$ 4.00

$ 1.80

31%

Gloucophage, 500 mg., 90

$ 64.15

$ 14.00

$ 50.15

78%

Glyburide, 2.5 mg., 90

$ 15.61

$ 7.00

$ 8.61

55%

Imdur, 30 mg., 90

$ 109.41

$ 30.00

$ 79.41

73%

K-Dur, 20 mg., 30

$ 21.05

$ 11.00

$ 10.05

48%

Lasix, 20 mg., 60

$ 13.05

$ 4.45

$ 8.60

66%

Lipitor, 20 mg., 90

$ 229.93

$ 164.00

$ 65.93

29%

Medroxyprogesterone, 2.5 mg., 90

$ 16.49

$ 10.50

$ 5.99

36%

Methotrexate, 2.5 mg., 28

$ 47.84

$ 21.00

$ 26.84

56%

Metopbolol, 50 mg, 90

$ 10.78

$ 13.50

$ (2.72)

-25%

Mevacor, 20 mg., 60

$ 134.28

$ 95.00

$ 39.28

29%

Neurontin, 400 mg., 120

$ 168.00

$ 127.00

$ 41.00

24%

Nitro Patches, 0.2 mg

$ 32.97

$ 19.00

$ 13.97

42%

Norpace, 150 mg., 90

$ 90.45

$ 29.35

$ 61.10

68%

Nortryptiline, 25 mg., 180

$ 58.20

$ 51.00

$ 7.20

12%

Permax, 0.25 mg., 240

$ 253.73

$ 199.00

$ 54.73

22%

Plavix, 75 mg., 45

$ 120.23

$ 93.00

$ 27.23

23%

Pravachol, 20 mg., 30

$ 64.38

$ 47.50

$ 16.88

26%

Prednisolone AC, 1% eye drops, 15

$ 25.95

$ 13.50

$ 12.45

48%

Prednisone, 1 mg., 155

$ 26.56

$ 18.00

$ 8.56

32%

Premarin, 0.3 mg., 90

$ 35.17

$ 12.00

$ 23.17

66%

Prilosec, 20 mg, 90

$ 360.50

$ 170.36

$ 190.14

53%

Propulsid, 20 mg, 200

$ 289.20

$ 200.00

$ 89.20

31%

Prozac, 20 mg., 45

$ 105.64

$ 43.00

$ 62.64

59%

Serzone, 150 mg., 60

$ 65.60

$ 49.00

$ 16.60

25%

Sinemet, 25/100, 150

$ 37.70

$ 57.00

$ (19.30)

-51%

Sinemet CR, 50/200, 150

$ 225.26

$ 150.00

$ 75.26

33%

Singulair, 10 mg msd, 30

$ 64.42

$ 52.00

$ 12.42

19%

Synthroid, 075 mg., 90

$ 28.00

$ 8.60

$ 19.40

69%

Tamoxifin, 10 mg., 180

$ 241.67

$ 34.00

$ 207.67

86%

Terazocin (hytrin), 2 mg., 100

$ 143.38

$ 69.50

$ 73.88

52%

Timazipam, 30 mgm, 30

$ 8.44

$ 7.90

$ 0.54

6%

Timolol Malaete, 0.50%, 10 ml

$ 26.63

$ 20.00

$ 6.63

25%

Vasotec, 10 mg., 180

$ 207.09

$ 157.00

$ 50.09

24%

Voltaren, 0.1% opth sol, 5

$ 53.01

$ 18.71

$ 34.30

65%

Welbutrin, 1 2x daily SR150 mg, 60

$ 81.98

$ 45.00

$ 36.98

45%

Zaroxolyn, 2.5 mg, 30

$ 18.39

$ 8.00

$ 10.39

56%

Zocor, 80 mg, 30

$ 101.82

$ 60.00

$ 41.82

41%

Zoloft, 50 mg., 30

$ 62.00

$ 31.00

$ 31.00

50%

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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