Americans buy drugs in Canada

Americans look north for cheaper EpiPens

In the U.S., rising price tag of severe allergy medication hit $609 per pair in May

  • Toronto Star
  • 29 Aug 2016

Darby Leigh, of Florida, left, and her husband, Jonathan, purchased a pair of EpiPen injectors online from Canada.When Darby Leigh found out she’d need to start carrying an EpiPen this summer due to a medical issue, the Florida resident was stunned by the cost.
“I couldn’t afford it,” said Leigh, 35. “They wanted to charge about $600 for two EpiPens and I couldn’t do that. I started looking elsewhere.”
Her husband, Jonathan, originally from Brampton, suggested looking north of the border for cheaper options.
She bought a two-pack for about a third of the cost from, an online pharmacy based in Winnipeg.
With the price of an EpiPen in the United States reaching unaffordable heights for many families, some Americans, like Leigh, are turning to Canada.
Mylan, the U.S. pharmaceutical company that distributes the EpiPen, announced Thursday it would lower the cost of the severe allergy treatment drug for some patients, following pressure from groups such as the American Medical Association and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
But the actual price of the product, which hit $609 per pair in May — a 400per-cent increase since 2009 — won’t change. Insurers and employers that pay the bulk of the EpiPen cost for many patients will continue to do so, contributing to higher health insurance costs.
Mylan has consistently raised the price of EpiPen injectors since taking over the rights to the product in 2007, when a pair of syringes cost $93.88.
The cost of a single EpiPen in Canada is about $100, according to a spokesperson for Pfizer Canada, which distributes the drug locally.
“Canadians can rest assured that the price will not be increased like it has in the U.S.,” said Manon Genin, manager of corporate affairs for the company. “There are mechanisms in place in Canada to make sure that kind of situation doesn’t happen.”
In Canada, the auto-injectors can be claimed under most provincial drug benefit programs.
“Although EpiPen is not directly regulated by the Patented Medicine Price Review Board since it is not a patented drug, provincial constraints still limit our actions with respect to prices increases,” Genin said.
Mylan plans to double the number of patients eligible for its assistance program, which allows those who lack adequate incomes and insurance coverage to obtain an EpiPen for free. It will also offer a savings card to cover up to $300 of the cost of a two-pack, a boost from the $100 card it previously offered.
“We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a press release. “Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them.”
Despite Mylan’s announcement, Nicole Smith, a Colorado-based advocate for allergy solutions, said it’s still worth it for families like hers to purchase from Canada.
“I want the price in the United States to be reflective of the true price of manufacturing that medication,” Smith said. “If Canada is sell- ing them for $110 per EpiPen, there is no reason then that the price of a two-pack in the United States should be over $600. I’m assuming that they’re still making money on it in Canada.”
Smith, whose 20-year-old son Morgan has life-threatening allergies to nuts, sesame and fish, said she spent $225 (U.S.) to buy two EpiPens from Canada Drugs Online.
“For families that have a budget that they have to adhere to and are concerned about the pricing in the United States right now . . . I say, purchase it through Canada,” she said.
Tim Smith, general manager of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, said the more than 60 pharmacies it represents, which specialize in mail-order products, have seen a boost in EpiPens sold to U.S customers. He said this trend is a result of “the outrage of people who are getting ready to go back to school and are going to buy supplies for their kids and find out the price has gone up so significantly.
“They’re looking for alternate sources for the medication,” he said.
Leigh is planning to buy from Canada again when she visits the Toronto area. “If the prices don’t get any better, which I don’t foresee,” she said, “then I would definitely go through Canada again.”
“I want the price in the United States to be reflective of the true price of manufacturing.” NICOLE SMITH ALLERGY SOLUTION ADVOCATE

My only question is this. If Pfizer Canada can produce and profit at $100.00 then why can’t Mylan? Is there that much of a difference between us?

Mylan has to payoff the Clintons thus the higher price.

Cost in USA
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Cost in Canada is about $100.00

Cost in USA

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Cost inCanada is about $400.00

Proof or just guessing lol . i say it is a greedy drug company

A greedy drug company??? Say it isn’t so! :wink:

Seems the CEO and others in management want to make sure they can line up their pockets with bonuses… At the expense of people in need… Shameful!

Leigh is planning to buy from Canada again when she visits the Toronto area. “If the prices don’t get any better, which I don’t foresee,” she said,

I do not think this will work as Canadian Drug stores do not except American Doctors prescriptions .

When you order buy mail a Canadian Doctor employed by the online drug companies writes out a Canadian prescription .

That is just normal every day business .
I can buy many things in the USA cheaper then in Canada .

You’re wrong! It’s not normal everyday business. It’s gouging.

I have to agree with Patrick. Roy ,there may be a few things cheaper but not much any more . Health items are not many people go up there for prescription drugs.