Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeLifestyleHealthOnline Canadian Pharmacies Save Hovland Woman Almost 80% on Prescription Drugs

Online Canadian Pharmacies Save Hovland Woman Almost 80% on Prescription Drugs

Shannon Crossbear, a baby-boomer and long time Hovland, MN resident, was facing an affordability crisis for a life saving pre­scription drug. Crossbear is covered under Medicare insurance and she opted for a sup­plementary pharmacy plan known as Medi­care Part D. Part D premiums are generally more than $1,000 per year in the government/ private program.

Back to her affordability crisis. Crossbear normally purchased a three month supply of a prescription drug from a USA pharmacy. She went online and researched the cost of buying the identical drugs from a Canadian pharmacy. She posted her results on social media.

“Let me tell you the difference,” she wrote. “In the USA, one three month supply of med­ication, with insurance, the out of pocket co­pay is $790.” She went on to emphasize that she expected to pay $790 after her Part D plan paid its contracted share.

Pricing the exact same prescription at an online Canadian pharmacy she found her out of pocket and only cost is $166.45. Canadi­an pharmacies do not accept Medicare pay­ments, so Crossbear saves more than $600 on each quarterly prescription fill. She’d save even more if she didn’t pay the Part D pre­miums.

“It now looks possible that my work hours do not have to match my age in order to live,” she wrote. “Game changer.”

When Crossbear expressed concerns over the costs of her prescription at the local clinic, she was referred to a USA online pharmacy started by a businessman named Mark Cuban called Cost Plus Drugs. Cuban’s company has very competitive pricing, but it does not yet offer some of the newer, more expensive pharmaceuticals, including the one Crossbear had been prescribed.

Crossbear did some research on other drugs and found seriously lower costs in Canada. One prescription inhaler she knew about that sells for $90 stateside listed for $12 in Can­ada.

“The fact that doctors do not share this in­formation with patients, especially those on long term medication and/or fixed incomes, is of concern,” Crossbear said. “I wonder how many (people) are rationing or not taking life saving medicines because they simply don’t know.”

One reason physicians and clinics are not informing patients about Canadian pharma­cies is because the act of buying drugs out of the country and importing them, even for per­sonal use, is illegal. Although no one, to date, has been prosecuted for doing so, it would not be prudent for an American physician to promote illegal activity. The prohibition against importation has some limited excep­tions, and Congress is considering legislation that would make importation for personal use legal.

Despite the legal issues, it has been esti­mated in a recent study at the University of Florida that more than two million Americans purchase prescription drugs from pharmacies in other countries, either online or in person.

In the meantime, American consumers of pharmaceuticals can research Cuban’s costplusdrugs.com to see if they might save money buying domestically.

Alternatively people can research costs and make purchases of up to a 90-day supply of most drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Like American mail order/online pharmacies, the Canadian pharmacy requires a prescription submitted by a US based medical doctor, which most physicians willingly do, when asked.

Crossbear contacted her Canadian pharma­cy by telephone and was impressed with the helpful attitude and service provided.

Before jumping onto a website and ordering a prescription, seek out the Canadian Interna­tional Pharmacy Association www.cipa.com. Formed in 2002, CIPA is a great source for information about safe, online pharmacies. You can also check www.pharmacychecker.com for additional information and reputable pharmacies. Both sites have extensive Q&A sections to help you navigate placing and re­ceiving an order.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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