And this is wrong because …?

Google will pay$500 million for sponsoring ads from Canadian drug suppliers.  If it’s illegal then I guess I’m just as guilty but a few years ago when I had no insurance I went onto Google looking for drugs prescribed by my doctor and found them at maybe half the price  CVS demanded. Quite legitimate: I had to fax them a prescription, and no, these were not pain killers or anything of that sort, but I needed them to stay healthy and couldn’t afford them here. What’s so awful about that, why should Google pay a penalty and, for that matter, why should I be considered (an unwitting) criminal for buying them? Something is wrong here.


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10 responses to “And this is wrong because …?

  1. Inagua

    The market for prescription drugs is not a free market. In order to get the drug companies to provide drugs cheaply abroad, the US government tries to protect the domestic market by letting the drug companies charge much higher prices here than anywhere else. They generally get away with this because most drugs are purchased by people with insurance, and the insurance companies are required to pay American prices. But a few uninsured and cost consciencous types like apparently Chris have realized that they can save big bucks by buying drugs transshipped through Canada. For example, lipitor is roughly $4 a pill in America, but only about $2 a pill in Turkey. Same pill, both made by Pfizer; not a generic. I have been buying made in Turkey lipitor for many years, and I am glad I saved the phone number of my Canadian contact because it looks like they will no longer be advertising on Google.

    One might ask why not just let the free market work and let the drug companies charge the same price everywhere. The answer is that the US market in effect funds the entire R&D bugdet of the drug companies. No price differential; greatly reduced R&D; no AIDS drugs. No a perfect system, but understandable.

  2. Anonymous

    Inagua is correct. The law says it is illegal to import prescription drugs to the US because lobbyists for big pharma got this law enacted to protect US profits. The spin is that this is consumer protection. Talk to any pharmacist and they will tell you there is never a problem with prescription drugs from Canada. Mexico, where you can buy drugs without a prescription, is another story as counterfeiting is rampant.

    Inagua, Canada Drugs has generic lipitor sourced from India.

  3. anonymous

    BREAKING NEWS: Steve Jobs resigns from Apple, says WSJ six minutes ago.

  4. Libertarian Advocate

    Bought and paid for politicians. Nothing new there fer sure.

  5. On line Indian drug stores do a brisk business in generics and there are some world class pharmaceutical companies there. The prices tend to be even lower than the Canadian stores. Ranbaxy and Cipla both supply generics to Europe and the US markets and have FDA certified plants. Ranbaxy was acquired a few years ago by Japans leading pharma.

  6. HG

    “Cheap drugs from Canada” reflects a flaw in the Canadian economic system, not the US economic system. Canada’s government has seized the formerly free market for medical products and services. There is only one buyer of drugs in Canada (the Canadian government). For a drug company with high fixed costs (R&D) and low variable costs, it makes perfect sense when negotiating with the Canadian government to discount the product versus its price in a free market, since the marginal revenues from selling to Canada increase profits even though the negotiation is one-sidedly in favor of Canada (which after all prohibits, through threat of prison, the free sale of drugs in the country). The US might as well be located next to the old Soviet Union. In this sense, Canadian consumers are parasites on the US consumer (economists use the more polite term “free rider”). A sound response favoring capitalism & freedom would be for the US Congress to pass a law making it illegal for drug companies to sell their products in the US if they also sell the same product at a lower price in Canada. Sadly, most people favor the opposite approach, which would be to adopt the Canadians’ Soviet-like system here in the US and have the government simply dictate a price to the drug companies.

  7. Walt

    Dude –
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    Read the comments. I did you a solid!!
    Your Pal,