Archive for March, 2011

“Stop Medicare Fraud” Info Campaign Launched

Posted by on March 24th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign across the U.S to inform and educate older Americans about Medicare scams and helps them reduce the chance of fraud affecting them or costing the program the estimated $60 billion that is lost each year to scams. These Fraud schemes may be carried out by individuals, companies, or groups of individuals.

Not only can Medicare fraud risk your personal information falling into scamster’s hands, but those billions and billions of dollars wasted only serve to drive up health care costs and risk higher premiums or less benefits for seniors to access in the future.

The campaign urges older people never to give sensitive information, such as their Social Security, Medicare and bank account numbers, to someone they don’t know, and not to give personal information over the phone.

Some of the common types of fraud that the Department of Health and Human Services warns people to be aware of include:

  • A health care provider bills Medicare for services you never received.
  • A supplier bills Medicare for equipment you never got.
  • Someone uses another person’s Medicare card to get medical care, supplies, or equipment.
  • Someone bills Medicare for home medical equipment after it has been returned.
  • A company offers a Medicare drug plan that has not been approved by Medicare.
  • A company uses false information to mislead you into joining a Medicare plan.

A great brochure is available from the new web site that has been launched as part of this campaign, which also includes public service announcement commercials running on TV and radio. The website is called www.stopmedicarefraud.gov and you can download a brochure to learn more about how to avoid becoming a victim of Medicare fraud.

At Canada Drugs we encourage all our patients that are also using Medicare benefits to be aware of fraud and remember that we can also help you Maximize Your Medicare. Many CanadaDrugs.com customers have saved hundreds, even thousands, of dollars annually using our Personal Savings Strategy that allows them to get the most out of Medicare, while also saving direct on some medications with our Canadian Pharmacy‘s low prices.


Are Large Chain Drugstores Selling Your Private Information?

Posted by on March 16th, 2011

For years, the big drugstore chains have denied selling your personal and private prescription information such as your name, contact information, doctors’ names, and prescription details to pharmaceutical companies. But a recent lawsuit accuses national drug-store chain Walgreens and CVS of unlawfully selling medical information to Big Pharma who than use it for marketing purposes.

According to the suit, brought by Todd Murphy on behalf of his two daughters and the rest of the class, Walgreen sells the prescription information to data mining companies who resell it to pharmaceutical companies for marketing reasons. The practice allows drug makers to target physicians considered high-volume prescribers and those most willing to prescribe new medication and is a threat to the personal and confidential health records of patients.

Reuters News service has more details of the current lawsuit in their story. Information on a similar suit being taken against CVS by concerned patients.

While already spending billions of dollars a year on marketing efforts in the U.S, all the while charging the highest prescription rates in the world, Big Pharma buying private health information as these lawsuit contend would be opening another route for them to market higher priced brand name medication to patients with the information on these purchased lists.

It’s important that personal health information, what medications you take, and for what conditions, is kept in strict confidence between your doctor, yourself and your pharmacy and not sold to third parties.

The outcome of these lawsuits will be closely watched.


Drug costs overstated by Big Pharma

Posted by on March 4th, 2011

Consumers and governments should be more skeptical of big Pharma inflated costs claims when it comes to the development of new drugs, says a report published in the London School of Economics health industry journal BioSocieties. The journal article is available for detailed reading here.

The 17-page report, “Demythologizing the High Costs of Pharmaceutical Research”, was written by Rebecca Warburton, associate professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria and Donald Light, professor in comparative health-care at the University of New Jersey and a visiting professor at Standford University.

Research and development costs of a new drug can range from virtually nothing to being very expensive, claims the study and explains that the pharmaceutical industry cites figures based on work by economists at a U.S. centre, which has received substantial funding from Big Pharma industry figures when it claims research and development costs in the billions of dollars to launch new drugs to the marketplace.

The entire study is an interesting read because it breaks down the leading reason that the big pharmaceutical companies use to justify Americans having the highest prescription drug costs in the world, and show that they often widely over estimate the cost of R&D and use it to excuse their gouging of American drug buyers.

A strong summary of the points of the journal study can also be read here, in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading national newspaper.

It really makes consumers who are turning to Canada Drugs in order to afford prescription medication, have another reason to demand more access to affordable prescription medication from international pharmacies. If the development costs for medication are actually significantly less than industry claims, it raises the questions why Americans are being forced to pay so much more for their drugs than they would in other countries. We are committed to being the global leader in prescription drug savings and offer an alterative to being forced to pay huge out of pocket costs for drugs, whose development costs are fractions smaller than claimed.


Patients Struggle to Afford Prescription Drugs

Posted by on March 4th, 2011

Canada Drugs was founded in 2001 in response to the rising costs of prescription medication that many people found a burden to afford. We set out with a goal to provide our customers access to affordable, safe, and quality prescription medication that they otherwise might have never been able to have accesses to if it wasn’t for the savings we offered.

Over our near decade of dedicated service to our customers we have heard many times that if it wasn’t for Canada Drugs that some of our customers would have simply gone without their essential medication or taken improper doses to stretch their budget until the end of the month.

The latest Consumer Index Report confirmed that the same reason we set out to offer people a lower priced option a decade ago is as valid as ever 10 years later. The Consumer Reports Index, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, is a monthly telephone and cell phone poll of a nationally representative probability sample of American adults. In this latest economic downturn where many people are finding it even harder to stretch their dollars it is being reported that one of the first things that people are doing is cutting back on the money they budget toward their prescriptions. The January report found that almost 70% of Americans who regularly take prescription medications have taken immediate steps to find ways to make it more affordable. Many of our customers found Canada Drugs for this exact reason, they were looking for how to save money on their medication and found us through searching online, hearing about us from family, friends or their doctors, or hearing about us in the news. We are proud to offer our customers an option to save them money and ensure that the prescription medication their doctor has determined they need can fit into their budget more easily.

More worrisome in the report was the fact that 28% of respondents reported that they resorted without their doctor or pharmacist’s knowledge to doing potentially dangerous actions to save money.

  • 16% failed to fill a prescription
  • 16% skipped a dose
  • 11% took an expired medication
  • 10% cut pills in half
  • 4% shared a prescription

Any of those cost saving measures can pose significant health risks. In addition to those risky moves to afford prescription drugs it was also reported in the same Consumer Index that people were cutting back on other purchases or were charging more on credit cards and putting off other bills to buy drugs right away.

  • Spent less on clothing (30%)
  • Cut back on groceries (23%)
  • Relied more on credit cards (23%)
  • Postponed paying other bills (15%)

With drug prices out pacing the inflation rate the cost of medication is going to increasingly stretch peoples ability to pay. Canada Drugs as the global leader in prescription drug savings is committed to finding the lowest cost suppliers of high quality medication and offering our customers the opportunity to afford their prescriptions. We work hard to offer lower priced medication because we are concerned when we see studies like this one that confirm what our Patient Service Representatives hear on the phone everyday, that without our service many people would go without their prescriptions.