Cheaper Prescription Drugs in Canada? Maybe Not!

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

Although growing numbers of USconsumers are turning to Canadianmail order pharmacies for cheaper prescriptionmedicines, new research suggeststhat many drugs are actuallymore expensive north of the border. Anew price analysis by the Toronto-basedFraser Institute found that, onaverage, elder Canadians pay a whopping64% more for their generic drugsthan US seniors do.

Because of Canada's pharmaceuticalprice controls, the study's analysis ofbrand name drugs frequently prescribedfor seniors found just the oppositeresult.

Canadian seniors pay an average of36% less than Americans for thesemedicines, the researchers found.

Those same price controls, however,appear to be distorting the CanadianRx market in a way that drives upthe cost of generics for older patients,they said.

"Inflated Canadian prices for genericdrugs are caused by the lack of acompetitive market for nonpatentedpharmaceuticals, which is the fault ofmisguided government policies," theInstitute concluded.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.