Getting brand name drugs even cheaper

Getting brand name drugs even cheaper
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.

Residents of Maine will be getting cheap brand name prescription drug imports in a move that has wide implications for other states.

Maine has the first law in the nation that makes imported drugs legal in its borders, according to The Wall Street Journal. That means Mainers will be getting access to scripts from Canadian pharmacies at a 66% discount with the full approval of the state’s government.

It’s long been common in border states like Minnesota and Wisconsin for people to drive over to Canada and fill scripts at a fraction of the cost they would face in the United States. The pharmaceutical industry has always been opposed to this, citing concerns about drug safety. But no real safety issues have manifested.

Some Mainers are now using an online clearinghouse called set up by employers as a benefit to employees. Using this site, the city of Portland, Maine, gets 90-day supplies of heartburn med Nexium (40mg) for $200 and gives it free to employees. By comparsion, Aetna would pay $621 and charge city employees $155.

Of course, most of the action in the U.S. pharmacy market is with generics. You wouldn’t save anything buying generics as an import. But I’m interested to see if other states follow Maine’s lead on this issue. It would be a big savings for their citizens if they did! If you can’t use a generic, I love the idea of people getting brand name drugs even cheaper.

For further reading:

Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments