US pays over the odds for brand drugs, report finds
Established in 2013, PharmacyCheck works to verify international online pharmacies in addition to comparing the price of medications on the market. Recent research has indicated that medications sold at local US pharmacies are manufactured abroad and are sold in the country at higher price tag, compared to fellow countries, such as Canada.
The company’s second and third quarter international drug price savings report has highlighted that up to 70% of the US’ drugs are imported, with 40 popular brand names sold in the country through this method. The FDA currently states that approximately 40% of finished prescription drugs sold in the US market are foreign-made, a significant undervaluation.
In contrast, as part of its ongoing research, PharmacyChecker.com has found that 28 of the 40 most popular, non-controlled, brand-name drugs sold in the US (as defined by IMS Health data in 2015) are manufactured outside the US. Many US brand drugs are manufactured within Japan and Europe.
Recently, the FDA has announced that it will rely on inspection from foreign regulators in Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Malta, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These regulatory authorities will conduct inspections of manufacturing facilities in line with FDA standards.
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"FDA's data on the percentage of medication sold in the US. that is foreign made appears to be wrong or out of date. Our research shows that most of the brand medications Americans buy at their local pharmacies are foreign-made but are often double, even triple the cost compared to the same drugs sold in Canada,” explains Gabriel Levitt, President of PharmacyChecker.
“Drug importation is legal for pharmaceutical companies, but, regrettably, American consumers face unjust regulatory barriers to accessing lower-cost options from pharmacies outside the US. The FDA says buying medication online is not safe, yet we already rely on foreign regulators to protect our drug supply,"
"Regardless of the law, millions of people buy medication online because drug prices here at home are out of reach. Our international pharmacy verifications and price comparisons provide consumers with information to help them afford medication if they choose to order it online from outside the country."