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Commentary |

A Perspective on US Drug Reimportation

Niteesh K. Choudhry, MD, FRCPC; Allan S. Detsky, MD, PhD, FRCPC
JAMA. 2005;293(3):358-362. doi:10.1001/jama.293.3.358.
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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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