Foreign countries offer lower-priced generics earlier. For incredibly high-priced drugs such as Harvoni and Sovaldi the difference is 50x-250x more expensive.
USA drug costs are a function of what the market will bear (i.e. how much drug companies can overcharge). There is no justification to charge so much for life saving drugs.
Do you want someone influenced by corporate money or politics? In contrast we are outsiders of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. The data collection uses rigorous engineering methods explained here.
Thailand and the Czech Republic are selected because both negotiate reasonable drug prices.
Yes and no.
The yes. Why does the USA have a wider selection? Many foreign countries limit selection to better negotiate low prices. Doctors maintain a drug list to treat various medical conditions. If a particular drug isn’t on the list there are substitutes on the list.
For example in Thailand eletriptan is on the list but rizatriptan is not on the drug list for treating migraines. As a result eletriptan is substituted for rizatriptan.
Patients and local pharmacies also purchase medications from international pharmacies.
The no. Some foreign countries approve generics earlier then the USA. As a result more low-cost generic options are available for high cost drugs such as Sovaldi and Harvoni.
At the present time the quality of healthcare in Thailand and the Czech Republic is similar to the USA. This despite the lower standard of living and much lower healthcare expenditures. With this in mind here are more reasons the comparison is fascinating:
- Czech Republic health care costs are ~1/4 of the USA with a nearly identical healthcare ranking.
- Thailand has a mixture of public and private insurance yet negotiated prices are still significantly cheaper.
- Foreigners travel (aka medical tourism) to these popular countries for world class health care at a reasonable price.
- The country populations of 69 and 11 Million span the number covered by Medicare and Veteran’s Affairs.
- Generics are available earlier in Thailand than in the USA.
- Brand name pharmaceuticals are manufactured in Thailand.
- Thailand is a popular choice for many drug trials because of the healthcare system.
- Great countries to visit for a vacation.
The USA imports between 25-50% of the pharmaceuticals used in the USA. From where? Often from the same factories other countries import from.
As a result shipping is the only supply chain difference for many drugs manufactured outside the USA. As the USA continues to increase imports this claim of better supply chain security is less and less credible.
No. We are surprised too. Although brand names are available first higher quality is not guaranteed.
Black isn’t a color 😉
The pharmaceutical industry lacks transparency hence it’s a ‘black box’.
When positive changes happen we’ll add more color to the site.
A ‘black box’ often refers to an element in an electronic system with contents that are mysterious to the user. Engineers often reverse engineer ‘black box’ elements to understand how they work.
Similarly our team is reverse engineering the drug pricing system that isn’t transparent.
Whether you’re taking a brand name or generic drug the active ingredient and efficacy is equivalent.
The USA imports more pharmaceuticals than any other country in the world. As a result many of the drugs we get are the same as the rest of the world.
Indeed we can relate to many of you struggling to pay insurance, co-pays, or have no health insurance. We all know how expensive health care is. If you have a fixed income with very high co-pays or pay cash you must find the lowest drug prices. What information do you need to get the lowest price available?
Unfortunately many of you have similar stories about the lack of affordability and difficulty paying all the bills. We empathize with all of you. Especially those that require prescriptions every month to maintain your health and quality of living. How is it so difficult to find a reasonable price?
Consequently I researched how to find the lowest cash price for pharmaceuticals and found how different prices are. The difference between the lowest and highest drug price can be over 10x. For this reason we investigate both USA and foreign prices to determine how much drugs cost and how much drugs should cost.