PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Maine Poised to Facilitate Safe Personal Drug Importation

Maine residents may soon have easier access to lower cost prescription drugs from international online pharmacies, if Governor Paul LePage signs a bill recently passed by the Maine Legislature. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support – 107 yeas to 37 nays and seven abstentions in the House, and 30 yeas to four nays, with one excused in the Senate.  The new law would make it expressly legal, not just “permitted,” to import medication for personal use. The bill was written partly as a response to the Maine Attorney General shutting down importation programs last September that were clearly safe and helping cut prescription costs. The bill’s passage would allow those programs to operate. vice president Gabriel Levitt weighed in on Maine Public Broadcasting Network yesterday, defending consumers by explaining that millions of Americans who can’t afford medication are wrongly dissuaded from ordering it online: “The problem is certain groups, often funded by the pharmaceutical industry, are telling Americans that there’s no way to get medications safely online, and it is just not true.”

Listen to the broadcast and read the accompanying article here.

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High Drug Prices Disproportionately Causing African-Americans to Cut Back on Medication

The latest edition of NPR’s ongoing series, The View From Black America, focuses on Americans who live within fear of financial disaster due to high drug costs. In fact, one in four African-Americans struggle to afford medication, according to a national poll conducted by NPR, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Mike Jackson is one of the millions of Americans whose response to high drug prices was to scale back his medication (in his case, insulin). Mr. Jackson stated, “Instead of taking 60 units twice a day, I was taking 30 units twice a day….The idea behind that was if I watched what I would eat and then stay with the 30 units — I would keep my blood sugar down enough that hopefully it would not be much of a problem.” His medication cost almost $500 per month.

Mr. Jackson ended up with numbness in his foot and toes, and nerve damage in his eyes, sure signs that his diabetes had gone out of control. A trip to the ophthalmologist only added to his medical bills.

Ashley Liggins had to choose whether to purchase food, gas, or medication to control her blood pressure. When the choice comes between medicine and other essentials, like food for your family, sometimes expensive medicine may be the first to go. And this this was the decision made by Ms. Liggins, leading her to reduce doses and borrow pills from her mother.

We will continue to document cases of Americans getting sicker due to high drug prices. To take action on bringing down drug prices consider joining

To listen to the NPR segment, click here.

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