Prescription Medication: We’re Getting Hosed!

Just out of curiosity, during my February travels, I did some comparison pricing regarding a randomly selected prescriptive medication. The investigation involved a non-narcotic  lotion which requires a prescription. The manufacturer in all three instances was the same. The portion in all three instances was the same. The strength in all three instances was the same.

In Minot, North Dakota, USA, the price of the product is $230.00 of which the insurance coverage is $80.00 and the co-pay (the patient’s personal responsibility) is $150.00. In Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, the price of the very same product  is $34.00. Mexico accepts either Mexican pesos or USA dollars. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the price of the same product is $10.34. Since the Canadian dollar is currently worth around 69 cents compared to a USA dollar, to a citizen of the USA, the equivalent cost is $7.13.

This is not an issue that is new. It pre-existed Obamacare.  The pharmaceutical industry has had its way with Congress for decades.  Is Congress genetically opposed to all government oversight or just plain owned by the Big Pharma lobbyists? It is quite difficult to comprehend how the same prescribed product can cost 14.8% in Mexico of what it costs in Minot and 3% in Canada of what it costs in Minot.

We need to challenge the mainstream media and our North Dakota Congressional delegation to justify this outrage. Are they helpless? Are they bought and paid for? Are they too ideological to be practical? How much is Big Pharma contributing to their campaigns? What if anything have they done except talk? Have they even addressed the subject? Is the above price comparison of one product merely an aberration or is it a long term pattern? Are they willing to talk to members of the other party to fix the problem? If they blame Obamacare, ask them how long this price discrepancy has been going on prior to Obamacare. Then fact check. Ask them why they haven’t done anything about it. Do Mexico and Canada have more functional governments than the USA? Why are the citizens of Mexico and Canada not being gouged like we are?

Let’s face it. These drug price discrepancies are a national scandal. If our Congressional delegation believes in laissez-faire economics is that just French for fairly lazy? The same company that manufactures the lotion in question also manufactures medication to help stop ED. Apparently that doesn’t help stop electile dysfunction.

Jim Maxson

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