Americans without health insurance are four times more likely to buy a prescription drug from another country due to cost. That’s from an analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, published in 2015. Not surprisingly, more comprehensive health insurance generally leads to greater prescription adherence, meaning people properly taking prescription medication. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a very uncertain healthcare system response in the U.S., 27 million Americans stand to lose their health insurance, according to a new survey and analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than I have ever meant it in the history of this blog, safe personal importation of prescription drugs can and should be a lifeline for Americans.
Further to the above, I implore those in government and the pharma-funded organizations who have say over this matter to take the requisite actions to make sure Americans have security in their access to more affordable medicines available online at international pharmacies. Last month, incredibly, the FDA was increasing personal drug import seizures, medicines that Americans had ordered because the prices are too high domestically.
When people are not insured in the U.S., they often face the full force of a drug’s retail price at the pharmacy, which explains why they are far more likely not to take medications that they need or go online to order the medication affordably from a foreign pharmacy.
For real world examples of the current situation with people losing their health insurance, Texas is a hot spot. The Lone Star State had the highest number of uninsured people in the country before the pandemic, 18%, and potentially one million Texans face the loss of a job and health insurance, according to recent reporting in The Texas Tribune. Greg Hansch, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Texas told reporters about one man with schizoaffective disorder who was furloughed from his job and facing out-of-pocket costs of $1,388 a month for the drug Latuda, saying “it’s a matter of life or death for him.” Mr. Hansch is looking for Prescription Assistance Programs for the man, and I hope he finds one that works. But I do know for sure that Latuda can be purchased by Americans and safely imported for personal use for $150 instead of $1,388.
One of the most disgusting realities of this global pandemic is the interference of politics with public health, and there’s blame on both sides. But I’d be remiss in not pointing out the political relevance of the growing uninsured, because of where their ranks are swelling. They are swelling in red states, many of which opted out of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. People in those states will most want and need to be able to buy cheaper drugs from Canada and other countries like never before in the coming years. Texas being a prime example.
Now, access to cheaper imported medicines is hindered due to shipping abnormalities, supply restrictions in other countries, and supply chain manufacturing and distribution disruptions. Some of those same problems are creating domestic shortages. But as long as people order medications from safe websites, such as those online pharmacies accredited by PharmacyChecker, personal importation of prescription medications remains necessary and viable.Tagged with: Texas