In case you didn’t know, PharmacyChecker is based in New York. We are a proud American company, one that has helped millions of Americans for well over a decade get the information they need to save money safely if choosing to buy lower cost, imported medication online. While my focus is often the American consumer, I’m very much concerned with medicine access needs globally, too.
The fact is that online access to affordable medication is helping consumers throughout the world. We’re going to look at one very interesting and uplifting example from the United Kingdom, where people in at-risk communities are saving themselves from contracting HIV through the safe purchase of medication over the Internet and importing it for personal use.
The title of an article in the New Scientist pinpoints the gist of what’s going on: “Massive drop in HIV rates may be due to Internet Drugs.” In late 2016, four health clinics in London saw a dramatic drop in new HIV infections of 40% among gay men over a 12-month period. That period corresponded with the launch of I Want PrEP Now (https://www.iwantprepnow.co.uk/), a non-profit initiative that helps people safely buy generic Truvada online. While it’s possible that other factors are at play, public health experts attributed the drop in new HIV infections to the ability of people to obtain generic Truvada affordably through the Internet. I cannot vouch for the online pharmacies recommended through I Want PrEP because we have not verified them in the PharmacyChecker Verification Program, but read on to see amazing evidence of the safety and efficacy of the medications ordered.
Referred to as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the drug Truvada is approved by the FDA, and the UK Healthcare and Medical Products Authority (MHRA), as well as other drug regulatory authorities, not only treat people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but also for protecting non-infected persons from contracting it in the first place. The problem is the price, even in the UK! You might be thinking, doesn’t the UK National Health System, which offers insurance to all citizens, cover Truvada. The answer is no. But according to the article, it’s legal to import medication for personal use in the UK.
The generic of Truvada, which is still under patent in the UK and the U.S., is called emtricitabine/tenofovir, but it is approved in India and manufactured by reputable and well known global pharmaceutical companies. The cost of brand Truvada in the UK, according to the New Scientist article is about £400/month (U.S. $486), while the imported generic is about 10% of the price or £40/month ($48.64), bringing it within reach of most people.
For contrast, the U.S. price for Truvada is $1755 a month per GoodRx data (1/12/2016). Surprisingly, the cost at a UK online pharmacy in our program is $985.09/month with shipping, over twice the $486. The lowest cost emtricitabine/tenofovir available from a PharmacyChecker-approved online pharmacy is dispensed from India and costs $241.58 for a three-month supply.
As to the safety of the generic Truvada, emtricitabine/tenofovir, imported for personal use in the UK, the activists responsible for setting up I Want PrEP Now researched reputable manufacturers of the medication and online pharmacies that sell them. But here’s what’ amazing. Medical staff from a clinic in London performed blood tests on patients taking the imported generic Truvada and determined that the medication was genuine and the drug was present in the blood stream in the right amounts. You can read about this study here.emtricitabine/tenofovir, PrEP, Truvada