Americans are used to high drug prices — at least for brand-name medications, which are often five times more expensive in the U.S. than in other countries. Conversely, Americans are used to low-cost generics, which are often cheaper here than internationally. Unfortunately, the U.S. generic pharmaceutical market is out of whack!  Generic drug prices have begun rapidly rising over the past few months…

And rapidly rising can mean a price increase of 6,000%, as reported by recent articles in the Huffington Post, Washington Times, and The People’s Pharmacy. Here’s an almost unbelievable fact: the brand-name drug is often much less expensive – if you shop at an international online pharmacy.

So, why such drastic increases? The People’s Pharmacy article attributes the increases to three factors. First, consolidation among generic manufacturers means less competition among drug makers; forty-four percent of all generic drug revenue goes to just three companies. Second, companies are discontinuing the manufacture of certain drugs leading to drug shortages. Finally, FDA enforcement actions have shut down certain manufacturers because of poor manufacturing practices. With reduced supply and competition, it’s no wonder that prices are increasing.

So if you’re finding your generic medication rising in price, how can you find it for less…much less? Try the brand! I’ve identified some generic drugs below that have significant savings when the brand is purchased from abroad.

Prices for Generic Medications

Drug Cash Price* International Online Pharmacy Price (Brand) Potential Savings (generic)
Clomipramine—75 mg, 90 pills $985 $121.50+

(Anafranil)

88%
Duloxetine – 60 mg, 100 pills $734 $100++

(Cymbalta)

86%
Doxycycline Hyclate — 100 mg, 100 pills $617 $251.21

(Vibramycin)

59%
*Cash price from local pharmacy in New York City. International Online Pharmacy Prices from lowest price on PharmacyChecker.com
+ Price calculated from 100 pills
++Price calculated from 84 pills
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