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Drugs-- where do you get them?


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  • Drugs-- where do you get them?

    My employer supplies an insurance plan with only a small co-pay on all prescriptions, so I have not thought much about drug costs.

    But I am beginning to think the job is not worth the effort, and self-employed consulting is becoming attractive. That means choosing and paying for an insurance plan myself. Up to now I have treated drug prices as something for someone else to worry about. Now I am concerned.

    Are alternative sources, like ordering from Canada or flying to Brazil, worth the trouble and risk? I hear a lot about this, but I have not sorted it all out.
    Thanks, Marv

  • #2
    Re: Drugs-- where do you get them?

    Hi Marv,
    My wife and I both take a load of drugs, and a goodly percentage of them are still in the protected state where no generic is yet available. Starting this year we have an excellent drug plan with the HMO we are both in, but problems are arising which may cause me to change our coverage in the near future.

    Mr. Bush, with the help of many republicans, and many campaign dollars from the drug lobby, signed a law that made it illegal to buy drugs from Canada. This law has been branded a bad law, and is being flouted by many cities and at least eight states who ignore that law and continue to buy their drugs from Canada. Personally, I do not believe the law is enforceable, and if they tried, they would first go after the municipalities who are ignoring it. Some have even set up websites to help their citizens obtain Canadian drugs.

    Before my current drug plan went into effect I bought drugs from Canada – from pharmacies that were sanctioned and monitored by the Canadian government. I even got packages where I had to go to the Post Office (a semi-governmental agency) to sign for them and pick them up. On the box was the international duty sticker declaring the contents to be drugs, and the return address was clearly Canadian, yet no-one batted an eye. So much for a bad law.

    Use Google and/or other search engines to find which drug companies work with us Yankees. If they are controlled by the Canadian government they will display the emblem or spell it out in their web pages. Compare both prices and shipping costs, and go with the company that offers the best all around prices for your drugs. Generally there is one shipping charge for the whole order, so take that into consideration when figuring out where and what to buy.

    The process runs as follows; you get a set of prescriptions from your doctor(s). You then sign-up, fill out the forms on line, and place an order with the drug company you chose. You then either fax or mail the prescriptions to them. (I saved a few days by faxing.) Upon receipt, a Canadian doctor in their employ will check out the medical information you supplied with your enrollment and the prescriptions you submitted. As appropriate, he will then write Canadian prescriptions for the medications, the order will be processed, and the drugs shipped to you. Reorders are simpler as the Canadian prescriptions have refills pre-approved.

    In actual fact, it is easier then my description of the process. The first time is a bit bothersome, but after that it is a simple matter – providing of course you can supply them with a credit card number they can charge. You might also price the drugs from American pharmacies to see just how much money you can save.

    Through my HMO I deal with an American discount pharmacy in San Diego. You can check their regular non-member discount drug prices at http://www.rxsolutions.com/ Of course you would have to supply them with prescriptions – they supply three month quantities at a time, and request that the prescriptions have available refills for a year, so if you decide to use them, please have the prescriptions made out accordingly.

    Sorry to be so verbose, but I have a tendency of running off at the keyboard.


    • #3
      Re: Drugs-- where do you get them?

      In addition to what Burt said , whenever I have a change or new RX , I often get a call from the canadian pharmacist personally to discuss effects and useage and am given additional numbers to call if there are any questions or problems. They are so polite and invested . The funny thing lately is many of the drugs are coming in separate shipping from different sites around the world! Last one had Canada, one from Auklund New Zealand and get this one , Florida. My dad's anticholesteral is often from Germany. They told me they try to remain as competitive as possible in the medication price world. Another thing , with all my checking it was actually cheaper to get Atenolol in the US so I do . Research will be a big eye opener for you. For Canada , we signed up for lifetime free shipping, it is great and there is no limit to how many times or when you call and order , you can have people with different names get there shipments with yours ( so neighbors etc . ) And drugs for your pets are even easier and cheaper. No Rx for potassium also. Well you heard it from 1 very satisfied customer . The bite is so much sweeter with Canada to the rescue. In the news yesterday they reported many drug companies , 1 being Phizer will start offering free meds to families with incomes under ? 25,000 and discounts to those as high as 45,000. I have to check out the details and will as soon as I get back from Boston today. ( Go in for my 10 month check and 2 kids of mine getting first time HCM Clinic screenings with me.) Talk to you later. Pam
      Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
      Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
      Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
      SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
      [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
      Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
      Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
      Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


      • #4
        Re: Drugs-- where do you get them?

        Hi Marv.

        Believe it or not I have found my local Costco pharmacy to be quite competitive. It may be due to the prescription card from my employer, but as I have researched on the internet, Costco beat all of the Canadian companies I looked at for the meds I take. I was shocked!

        Our office manager handed me a paper outlining how one could purchase cheaper drugs through mail order, but when I checked their prices against that of Costco, again Costco won hands down! While I am not trying to be a commercial for the company, I can say that I easily recoup the membership price ($45 per year) on the saving I get on the meds alone.


        God Squad co-moderator
        Nothing is as gentle as strength and nothing is as strong as gentleness


        • #5
          Re: Drugs-- where do you get them?

          Hi Mary,

          I would suggest you look into getting insurance and see if they will insure you if you are already have HCM. Then look at the Canadian drug sites to see what your present prescriptions cost there. Hinesight is 20/20.

          I recently calculated that I have purchased over four thousand dollars worth of prescriptions this year. It cost me $230.00 out of pocket.

          My most recent stay in the hospital was $165,285.00. It cost me zero out of pocket.

          So even though we want to move from Jersey, my husband health plan alone keeps us here.

          I am sorry you are not happy at your job. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do............

          Good Luck