PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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The diabetes drug Avandia has been making headlines due to some longstanding safety and side effect concerns. Some doctors and diabetes patients may now be considering alternative medication, such as Actos.  We think it is important to point out that both drugs cost thousands of dollars per year, and that the price of Avandia, as well as Actos, at U.S. pharmacies is about 5 – 10 times higher than in some other countries.  That in itself is a safety concern – as these drugs remain out of reach to many Americans. Furthermore, people who may switch to Actos will find that it is nearly twice as expensive as Avandia.

The National Diabetes Information Clearing House states, “According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes spend an average of $11,744 a year on health care expenses—more than twice the amount spent by people without diabetes.” What’s more, a 2004 study by researchers at the University of Michigan and Veterans Affairs shows that about one in five older diabetes patients cannot afford necessary medications. Out of 812 people surveyed (50 years and older), 20% said they had skipped prescriptions in the past, almost one-third said they had to limit basic needs like heat and food, and 10% borrowed money, all to cover the costs of their diabetes medication.

Our price research shows that for anyone paying out-of-pocket for prescription drugs, an annual supply of Avandia at a local pharmacy in New York is $1881.61; for Actos it is $3232.36!  In contrast, from  international pharmacies verified by, the same quantity of Avandia can be purchased for as little as  $219.60 (a savings of 88%) and Actos is only $720.00 (a savings of 78%) (Prices as of July 22, 2010).

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These numbers point to an obvious threat in health and health care for the diabetes community. So, to start managing the safety, side effects and costs of diabetes, absolutely follow your doctor’s advice and consider shopping around for affordability.

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