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Read Making a Killing

home / healthcare / press releases

NEWS RELEASE
Aug 17, 2004


CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, (310) 392-0522 ext. 319

How Much Would You Save if the U.S. Bulk Purchased Rx?

Rx Express Partner Provides Drug Calculator on Website
A group supporting the Rx Express -- a train trip that will take seniors to Vancouver, Canada to buy lower cost prescription drugs -- provides an interactive calculator on the organization's website allowing patients to calculate how much they would save if the U.S. adopted policies to bulk purchase prescription drugs.

The Civil Society Institute's on-line calculator -- available at http://www.resultsforamerica.org -- has tallied $46 million dollars in savings since it became available to patients in November 2003.

" As our on-line drug calculator indicates, Americans are being shortchanged by pharmaceutical companies," said Frank Smith of the Civil Society Institute.

Prescription drugs are available in Canada at 30-60% discounts because Canadians buy in bulk, a move that pharmaceutical companies have thus far blocked in the U.S.

"Seniors and other patients must often choose between purchasing the prescriptions they need and paying for other staples like food and rent because our political leaders have failed to provide comprehensive prescription drug reform," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights -- the nonpartisan consumer advocacy group organizing the Rx Express. "Patients, public programs and small business owners could save billions of dollars each year if the U.S. bought drugs in bulk like Canada currently does."

Rx Express riders will include seniors enrolled in the new Medicare drug discount card program who still cannot afford their medications. The train trip will begin in San Diego, California on Monday August 23, pick up patients from throughout California, Oregon, and Washington, and arrive in Vancouver, Canada on Wednesday August 25.

How The Calculator Works:

Results for America's "Canadian Drug Savings Calculator" allows consumers to gauge savings on nearly 50 of the most popular prescription medications. For example, the calculator shows that an American consumer who buys the widely prescribed osteoarthritis pain relief medication Vioxx and takes one pill per today would spend $524.16 a year less at Canadian prices, or a total of $10,483.20 over 20 years. Similarly, a person taking Lipitor, for treatment of high cholesterol, would save $338.52 per year - or $6,770.40 over 20 years. A U.S. victim of acid reflux taking the medication Prevacid on a daily basis would save $640.64 a year or $12,812.80 over 20 years in Canada, according to the calculator.

-End-

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a non-partisan and non-profit consumer advocacy organization. For more information please visit us on the Web at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org or http://www.calhealthconsensus.org

Results for America is a project of the Civil Society Institute, which is based in Newton, Massachusetts. The mission of CSI is to serve as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business, that can help to improve society. Visit Civil Society Institute on the Web at http://www.civilsocietyinstitute.org

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