The high cost of prescription drugs in the United States receives media
attention almost daily. In the past year, one third of Americans say that
they or a family member has had difficulty paying for medications.1 A similar proportion has not filled a prescription
or has reduced a prescribed dosage because of high out-of-pocket costs.2 In response, Americans are turning to cheaper sources
for their prescription drugs.3 Canadian pharmacies
are a logical choice because, partially as a result of governmental controls,
prices for many of the most widely used drugs are substantially lower in Canada.4 A recent survey of US consumers found that 7% have
purchased medications from pharmacies in Canada or another country and 16%
of individuals with annual out-of-pocket drug expenditures over $1000 have
done so.5 Moreover, 73% of Americans older
than 50 years would consider buying drugs from Canada or another country if
this were feasible.6
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