Canada’s an option as drug prices continue to soar


Published:

For years, Americans have been complaining about drug costs.

U.S. residents pay the highest cost in the world. Neighboring Canada has drug quality regulations similar to the U.S., but Americans pay up to 10 times more.

In Florida, between 2012 and 2017, the annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased by 57.8 percent. During the same time period, the income for Floridians increased by 12.7 percent.

The U.S. is the only major nation which does not negotiate drug prices for its people.

Unfortunately, most retirees have not accumulated enough savings to pay these increased costs.

Now, there are choices to make. Should they pay for rent? Utilities? Food? How do companies continue to provide health benefits?

Across the nation, companies and states have recognized the problem and they are beginning to react.

An interesting issue is that 80 percent of all the ingredients for drugs come from outside the United States, and 40 percent of the finished drugs are now imported by the pharmaceutical industry.

Florida, under Gov. Ron DeSantis, is making an effort to find a way to reduce and regulate this situation. Effective July 1, Florida’s Prescription Drug Importation Program (Chapter 1919-99) to import drugs from Canada became law. Twenty-two states have passed similar legislation which will place more pressure on the federal government as it controls the ability to purchase across borders.

The pharmaceutical industry has strong lobbyists, and it will be difficult to force changes to reduce costs.

Five of the top 10 most profitable companies in America are drug makers. Citizens need to write and call U.S. Representatives and implore them to act on this issue.