A Solution to the EpiPen Price Crisis: International Online Pharmacies, According to PharmacyChecker.com

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EpiPens are 66 percent cheaper on PharmacyChecker.com-Verified Sites

Verified online pharmacies

Consumers deserve and need that choice when it comes to where to buy their medications… Safe personal drug importation provides consumers with immediate relief and should be a viable legal option.

The price of the life-saving injection epinephrine, which is prescribed for people with serious allergies, has surged by 480 percent since 2009 – with most of the increase coming in the last three years from the drug company Mylan. For parents, this may be the difference between buying or not buying a medication that can save their child’s life.

A solution can be found through international online pharmacies, which provide the same medications as U.S. pharmacies but often at one-fifth the cost. For EpiPen Jr, the brand usually prescribed to kids, the lowest price U.S. pharmacy option found on GoodRx is $614 for a package of two. The lowest price for two injections at a PharmacyChecker.com-approved international online pharmacy is just over $200 – a potential savings of about $400, or 66 percent. In the U.S., EpiPen Jr is marketed by generic drug giant Mylan but is produced for Mylan by a subsidiary of Pfizer. Lower cost options internationally are similarly manufactured or licensed by Pfizer.

In most circumstances it remains technically illegal to import medication for one’s own use, although four million people do so each year and none have been prosecuted [1] [2]. Many more people could benefit but are scared off by misleading campaigns about counterfeit drugs. However, peer-reviewed studies show that online dangers can be almost entirely avoided when consumers stick to properly verified international online pharmacies, such as those verified by PharmacyChecker.com [3].

“Outrage about the escalating EpiPen prices is justified but this is nothing new. Drug prices in the U.S. have been out of control for far too long, resulting in a serious public health crisis,” said Gabriel Levitt, president of PharmacyChecker.com. “Consumers deserve and need that choice when it comes to where to buy their medications and should enjoy the competition and transparency that exists in other industries. Safe personal drug importation provides consumers with immediate relief and should be a viable legal option.”

In 2014, 35 million American adults did not fill a prescription due to cost [4]. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, over half of all Americans who do not take prescription medications because of cost report becoming sicker [5]. This means that potentially 17.5 million Americans become sicker each year because they can’t afford their prescription medication. As a result, millions of Americans are purchasing their prescribed medications outside of the country.

PharmacyChecker.com (http://www.pharmacychecker.com) is the only independent company that verifies U.S. and international online pharmacies and compares prescription drug prices. Its Verification Program evaluates online pharmacies by checking that they meet high standards of practice and continually monitoring them for compliance.

PharmacyChecker.com was formed in 2002 when the founder, Tod Cooperman, M.D., saw that increasing numbers of Americans were looking on the Internet to save money on medication but did not have adequate information to protect their health.

Citations

[1] Cohen RA, Villarroel MA. Strategies used by adults to reduce their prescription drug costs: United States, 2013. NCHS data brief, no 184. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.

[2] See Marcia Crosse, PhD, director for the Health Care Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) explain FDA's personal drug importation policies: http://www.tubechop.com/watch/6190570.

[3] Bate, Roger, Ginger Zhe Jin, and Aparna Mather, “In Whom We Trust: The Role of Certification Agencies in Online Drug Markets,” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. December 2013, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 111–150, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI.

[4] S. R. Collins, R. Robertson, T. Garber, and M. M. Doty, “The Rise In Health Care Coverage and Affordability Since Health Reform Took Effect,” Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, The Commonwealth Fund, April 2015.

[5] USA Today/Kaiser Family Foundation/ Harvard School of Public Health, Health Care Costs Survey (conducted April 25 –June 9, 2005). The survey finds that 20% of respondents, adult Americans, report not filling a prescription due to cost; 54% of those respondents said their condition got worse as a result.

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Gabriel Levitt
PharmacyChecker.com
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