If you have been watching the news, you’ve likely heard the current administration’s support for affordable healthcare, lower prescription drugs costs, and less red tape around the FDA’s drug approval process. These platform statements are powerful to a country where prescription drug costs are significant. In fact, according to an AARP report from 2015, the price of prescriptions per household amount to more than the average family’s income per year. To many eager constituents, these campaign promises create the illusion of a future of financial stability and an adequate, cost-effective healthcare system that treats people as patients instead of dollar signs. Before we pop the champagne, we need to look at both the current system we are proposing to fix and the actions that the government has already taken against these its original statements.
The Trump administration points the finger at the FDA’s current drug approval process as a major cause for high drug prices. Critics of the existing approval process believe it to be slow, full of unnecessary procedures, and a hindrance to the approval of potentially life-saving drugs. Notice, I said potentially. (more…)
Tagged with: Bernie Sanders, Consumer Safety, Donald Trump, healthcare, Palladone
On June 14 and 15, 2017, several individuals were arrested in Manitoba and British Columbia, Canada (CBC News – Manitoba) pursuant to a U.S. extradition request relating to a 2015 U.S. federal indictment of the parties on charges of illegal wholesale importation of medication into the U.S. including one batch of Avastin alleged to be counterfeit. That indictment pertains to events occurring between 2009-2011. PharmacyChecker.com strongly condemns any manufacturing and trafficking in counterfeit drugs.
Some of the individuals arrested in Manitoba, all of whom have been released on bail and are scheduled to appear in court in Canada on July 12, are also owners and/or executives of CanadaDrugs.com, Ltd. which operated a wholesale business and an online retail website. The indictment focused on the wholesale business (an area which CanadaDrugs has long since exited) and not on its website that sells medication directly to individuals for their own use pursuant to a valid prescription, does not sell Avastin, and remains licensed by the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba and an approved member of the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. We are not aware of any incident involving the sale of counterfeit medicine from CanadaDrugs.com during its 12 years operating as an approved member of our PharmacyChecker Verification Program.
We continue to closely follow this case and will post information about it, as we have done in the past.
Update: It was falsely reported on the LegitScript.com blog on July 6, 2017 that individuals connected with this case “had been extradited to the United States” (as shown below). This is incorrect and no such extraditions have occurred. False and/or misleading reporting by LegitScript has occurred in the past in what appear to be attempts to foster negative perceptions of the practice of personal drug importation and of our own work in helping to make it safe. LegitScript is a company founded by John Horton, whom we have asked the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate for possible government ethics violations.
Tagged with: canadadrugs, extradition, indictment, manitoba
Jublia (efinaconazole topical solution 10%) was approved for use in treating toenail fungal infections in 2014. The company which distributes it in the U.S., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, has a history of charging astronomical prices for its drugs and the situation is no different for Jublia. A 4 ml bottle (enough to treat one toe daily for a month) has a cash price of about $649, and even with easily available discounts, it costs about $550. It will likely be many years before a less expensive generic version is available in the U.S.
So how can you get Jublia at an even lower price? First, Valeant offers steep discounts for those first trying Jublia. As of the time of this writing (10/10/15), if you have insurance which covers Jublia, Valeant will reduce your co-pay for either the 4 ml or 8 ml bottles to just $25, or to $75 if the drug is not covered by your drug plan. If you have no insurance, the discounted price is $125 for the 4 ml bottle, or $200 for the 8 ml bottle. You can get 11 refills at this price (but just one refill if your drug plan does not cover Jublia).
Jublia is sold in other countries at much lower prices than in the U.S. In fact, in Canada, Valeant Pharmaceuticals distributes Jublia at prices far lower than those in the U.S. Many Americans get their prescription medications from outside the U.S. to save money and, although this is not technically legal, individuals are not prosecuted for importing small quantities of medication for personal use. Outside the U.S., Jublia is sold in a larger quantity – 6 ml and 12 ml bottles. Currently, you can get a 6 ml bottle for as little as $95 (plus about $10 shipping) from any of any of several PharmacyChecker.com verified international pharmacies which dispense the medication from licensed pharmacies. This international online price is the equivalent of getting 4 ml for about $67 – more than an 80% discount off the standard U.S. price.
Tagged with: jublia, Valeant