The annual report from The Bureau of Economic Analysis on the cost of major consumer spending categories for 2012 came out this week and it’s not surprising to see that once again the cost of prescription medication was higher in 2012. In 2012 prescription drug prices rose 3.6 percent, twice the 1.7 percent inflation rate, and while almost all other categories of health spending was lower in 2012, drugs remained the one higher category.
We hear firsthand from our customers everyday how high the cost of some of their drugs have risen over the past few years. U.S brand drugs costs were the major driver of prices increases again whereas generic drugs were markedly lower across the board. Many top selling drugs like Lipitor and Plavix have gone generic recently, making them a lot more affordable. However leading brand medications saw very high increases because drug companies try to draw as much profit out of them from consumers and insurance companies before their patent expires.
Nexium, a heartburn drug, had a 7.8% price hike to a $262 average prescription in the first nine months of 2012 across the U.S. Abilify, for bipolar disorder, increased 10.4% to $642 per prescription and Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering drug, went up 9.7% to $193 per prescription. Those are just a small sample of some of the top selling brand name drugs in the U.S that saw high jumps in prices.
At Canada Drugs we still offer all the leading brand name drugs, but because they’re from Canada and the United Kingdom, they are often up to 50% of the cost of the U.S. brand version. When you’re taking a drug like Abilfy which saw such a high price bump, ordering from an online Canadian pharmacy like Canada Drugs can add up to thousands of dollars of savings over the course of the year.
Our friends at RxRights.org, a group dedicated to fighting for the rights of U.S. citizens to have access to lower cost medication, released a statement in conjunction with the Bureau of Economic Analysis report from their president Lee Graczyk.
“Bureau of Economic Analysis data has confirmed the anecdotal evidence we’ve been hearing from consumers across the country: prescription drug costs continue to rise. The price of medicine went up twice the rate of inflation in 2012, even as other health care costs remained flat or decreased.“For years, Americans have been expected to quietly sit back while the price of their needed medications steadily rises. But consumers simply cannot continue to absorb these price hikes. It is unacceptable for the cost of one drug to jump 10 percent in a given year.
“Americans are already struggling in this weak economy. Many, especially seniors with fixed incomes, have to make impossible choices, like whether to buy groceries for the week or medicine. Record numbers of Americans are not filling prescriptions or are skimping on their recommended doses due to cost.
“Consumers need swift relief from exorbitant prescription drug prices. But drug pricing policy changes that enable all Americans to afford their medications are unlikely to occur anytime soon. In the meantime, thankfully, there is an affordable alternative: importation from safe, legitimate Canadian and other international online pharmacies. More than a million Americans depend on this virtual lifeline each year, saving from 50-80 percent on their medications.
“I encourage consumers affected by exorbitant drug prices to visit our website to learn more about finding a legitimate online pharmacy and protecting their ability to access safe, affordable medications.”
Write to your elected officials and let them know how the rising costs of drugs affects your budget and your health. Let them know that Canada Drugs and other safe Canadian pharmacies are an important way to battle greedy U.S. drug inflation.