PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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NY State Authorizes Paper Prescriptions to Fill in Foreign Pharmacies

Good news for New Yorkers who want freedom of choice to fill their prescriptions at pharmacies located where they are more affordable: in other countries. There is now an explicit exception to the electronic prescription (e-prescribing) law in New York that permits paper prescriptions to be filled in other countries. I’m sorry we didn’t catch this earlier, but here it is now. As of January 2017, according to the NY State Department of Health, one exception to e-prescribing, which allows a provider to write a paper prescription, is when the medicine is: 

“…dispensed by a pharmacy located outside the state, outside the country, or on federal property, including and not limited to the following examples; Veterans Administration, West Point, Fort Drum, and Indian Reservations;”

When e-prescribing became mandatory in NY, people had a hard time obtaining paper prescriptions. This was not just an inconvenience. It was a threat to their access to affordable medicine. In our country, it’s sometimes imperative to shop around and find the pharmacy that charges the lowest price in our neighborhood – or in another country. This development should be very helpful to people looking to shop around.

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Senator Schumer’s Crackdown on Rogue Online Pharmacies: A Smart Approach

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a crackdown on rogue online pharmacies to curtail prescription drug abuse. Senator Schumer’s emphasis is on stopping online pharmacies that sell drugs without a prescription, particularly addictive drugs, such as Adderall and Xanax, which are controlled substances.  We commend Senator Schumer on his actions. Since we first began our own work in 2002, a key requirement for an online pharmacy to be approved in the Verification Program has been that it require a valid U.S. prescription before dispensing any drug to an American. We also require that any pharmacy selling controlled substances to Americans be based in the U.S. and comply with the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 – legislation intended to curb drug abuse.

This is not Senator Schumer’s first call to arms regarding online pharmacies. In 2006, he co-sponsored the Internet Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act (S. 399), a bill to curb the sale of prescription drugs over the Internet without a valid prescription. A press release from Schumer’s office noted, “the bill is geared to domestic Internet pharmacies that sell drugs without a valid prescription, not international pharmacies that sell drugs at a low cost to individuals who have a valid prescription from their U.S. doctors.” Unfortunately, S. 399 never became law. (more…)

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U.S. Brand-Name Drug Prices Dramatically Increased in 2010, According to New Report

Last August AARP published an analysis stating that in 2009 brand-name drug prices increased by over 8%. Disturbingly, new AARP data shows that from 2009 to 2010, in the Rochester region of upstate New York, brand-name drug prices increased by a devastating 11%, almost seven times the average inflation rate of 1.6%.

The report, published by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the largest health insurer in the Rochester area, also finds that brand name drug prices increased by 93% between 2004 – 2010. This data explains why the number of Americans not taking their medication due to cost – 25 million – has almost doubled over the past ten years, a very sad state of affairs for America.

The report identified steep increases on popular brand name drugs for which there are no generic substitutes, such as Actos, Advair, Lipitor, Singulair and Nexium. For some American patients, U.S. prices are beyond reach and they must go without their medication. The exact same drugs can be found online from verified international online pharmacies at much lower prices, often 80% less, which can make the difference between people taking or not taking their prescribed medication. (more…)

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