The cost of ED drugs in the U.S. is roughly about two and a half times the Canadian prices. This is what you should expect to pay for your medication out of pocket. But it is sometimes much more and above all, you are never immune to a bad surprise: the cost of a treatment that explodes overnight, a drug in a monopoly situation that would cost a small fortune and we are not talking about so-called “innovative” treatments in the fields of cancer, for example, which amount to thousands of dollars per month.
The actual difference in price for drugs in the U.S. and Canada
Some examples for non ED-related meds that are still quite tell-tale: the indicative price of the Januvia anti-diabetic is around $380 for 30 capsules against $55 in Canada. Count about $35 for nine tablets of generic antibiotic amoxicillin / clavulanate against 5.5 euros in France. Finally, treatment with Sovaldi, the only one that will cure hepatitis C, will cost you $84,000 per cure versus $41,000 in Canada. In addition, prices are completely opaque, varying from one pharmacy to another and depending on the location. Why are drugs so expensive in the United States? This is the stupid question of the week.
Even though drugs are often exchanged at a more reasonable price due to discounts granted to certain public insurance programs like Medicaid or negotiations with intermediaries who work for certain insurances, the excessive costs in the United States are explained by the total absence of price controls.
The laboratories freely set their prices, without constraint, without regulation, without justification. The latter therefore follow the law of the market and fluctuate according to supply and demand. And the latter is doing quite well, since in 2014, drug prices increased on average by 14%, double the number of all other health posts (consultations, hospital, etc.). In an environment like this, Canadian drugstore is destined to enjoy a growing popularity: the prices here are set with the government-imposed limits, and so is the quality. It is comprehensible then that consumers flock towards it for run-of-the-mill medication refills, and they are given professional support in form of free pharmacist consultations, discounts for popular drugs, such as Viagra, whose cost is barely affordable in the US, and a bonus system aimed at sustainable pharmaceutical assistance.
What are you paying for?
“The prices are not based on research investments, nor on production costs, nor even on the efficiency of the products but on what patients and insurance companies will be ready to pay to have it in a logic of maximum profitability,” says Meredith Rosenthal, professor of health economics at Harvard.
This bias, Americans are starting to feel it. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that 72% of them consider the prices of drugs unreasonable. A quarter of them find it difficult to pay for their treatment and the rate rises to 43% for those who are very sick due to dependents that can amount to several thousand dollars a month. Suffice to say that for some “it is to repay his mortgage or to heal himself”, in the words of Hillary Clinton who, like other presidential candidates, has taken up this popular subject for his campaign.
Nothing should change so much in the years to come. The Republicans are not upset by the situation which protects one of the most dynamic and efficient sectors for the economy of the country and the Democrats have already announced their intention not to regulate prices, remaining attached to the market economy . At most, Medicare could perhaps finally negotiate the prices with the laboratories, which it is prohibited today… And then “let’s not forget that all health posts are very expensive in the United States, consultations, paramedical interventions, hospitalizations, so a drug can allow itself to be expensive if it saves care and ultimately generates financial savings for the patient and the insurer,” said Steven Pearson, President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). Little relief to you if you have to choose between getting your ED drug refills or paying for about anything else in your life, right?
Feasible ways to cut down the drug cost
Too many men have to give up on their personal life just because the cost of ED treatments available in the States is ridiculous. But is there a way to find something more economically accessible? There have been several go-to solutions tested and proven effective by the more proactive of us. We will cover some of them in the paragraphs that follow, increasing their lucrativeness from lowest to biggest savings.
Enroll in a patient support program
The pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Bayer offer discount plans for patients with precarious monetary circumstances. In most cases, you need to prove that your household income is low enough for you to qualify as a participant in discount or free pill programs. Alternatively, you can get a savings card endorsed by one of the pharmaceutical giants, again, limitations apply. Needless to say, you need to be a citizen of the U.S. to participate in a program like Viagra savings by Pfizer or any other offer mentioned here.
Use a patient support service
There are independent initiatives created to help patients pay for their medications year-round; one of the most prominent of those is PrescriptionHope.com. The website has more than 1,5k brand drugs in its database that you can order at the cost of $50 per month per each drug name, but you also need to be a citizen of the country and meet certain eligibility requirements before you get access to the offers.
Generics is a powerful tool for saving on medical costs. Not only do they cost less, but their use is heavily promoted by healthcare insurance companies that pay more in coverage percentage than they would for the corresponding brand pill. Generics are full equivalents of the brand-name drugs featuring all of their efficacy and safety and providing the same therapeutic results. This is of course as long as you buy a generic version of Cialis, Levitra or Viagra that is approved by the healthcare authorities.
Buy from a pharmacy in Canada
If you order from Canada, you can get a lower price quote with their choice of generics produced by Indian companies that are FDA-licensed for generic ED drug manufacturing (see the references above). You can get a monthly supply of Viagra (30 pills) at under $45, but it will probably last longer than that, given than you will not engage in sex 30 days a month. Be careful though: you need to have a valid prescription from a U.S. doctor and never order more than 90 days’ supply of your ED pills in one batch in order to avoid problems with the customs.