Why do Americans pay more for prescriptions than other countries

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Photo by WINK News.

Estero resident Buck Cook believes we live in the greatest country in the world. The only issue for him is that Americans pay more for medicine than other modern countries.

“The economy’s great here and we shouldn’t be paying the extra costs,” Cook said.

Dr. Victor Claar is a professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University and says different countries have different pricing strategies.

For instance, Advair, an inhaler used to treat asthma, costs $308 in the U.S. In Canada, the same medicine is $74, and it’s as cheap as $46 in the U.K., according to Bloomberg.

Patients can often find discount programs for prescriptions that are often free to use.

Claar says the reason for this is the medical boards for those nations decide with the drug company what price that drug will be sold for in that country.

In the US, it’s different.

“Once a drug has been approved by the FDA, any drug company can sell it to anybody it wants whether it’s a hospital or a patient,” Claar said.

This is credited to the free market.

The lower prices in other countries seem great, but there are catches to those lower, foreign prices.

“We get all the drugs that are approved and safe, but sometimes we pay really high prices. In the UK, they don’t get access to all the drugs they’d like to have access to,” Claar said.

In America, we do get access to all drugs, but some may not be able to afford them

In order to get the drugs you desire, there are ways to get cheaper medicines. You can choose generic over brand names when possible.

If no generics available, talk with your doctor about the brand name you are being prescribed and see if you can find off name brands that also work well.



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