Monday, October 17, 2011

Price Of Drugs Drops In Canada

I am taking one Lipitor pill per day for cholesterol. When I started taking them about four years ago the cost in Canada was about $3 per pill. Norma has a medical plan that supplements our Canadian plan that I could put in a claim from. We have a $300 deductible before they start paying. I started searching out cheaper sources and found that I could buy them in Mexico for about $0.80 per pill without a prescription. Doing an Internet search I found the pills at an online pharmacy in India for $0.38 per pill, again with no prescription required! I started ordering them from India and did so for more than two years. It cost me about $160 per year after shipping costs. My doctor knew what I was doing and monitored my cholesterol to ensure the pills were doing what they were supposed to do, which they were.

When I put my order in to India earlier this year I was informed that, because of closer scrutiny and many seizures by Canada Customs, the pharmacy was no longer shipping to Canada. Darn! My prescription had also been changed from 10mg to 20mg per day so this would make them more expensive from all sources.

I went to the doctor and got a prescription for a couple of months to get enough pills to get into Mexico where I would stock up with a year's supply. I went to the local pharmacy and was surprised to find that they had switched to a generic which was not previously available and that the cost was only $0.69 per 20mg pill! That is much cheaper than Mexico and probably comparable to India after shipping costs are included!

I would not even want to guess the cost in the USA.


  1. yup my lipitor is now the generic also...go figure on the pricing eh?

  2. I have to ask--how did you think to look for the drugs in India and how did you find a reputable pharmacy?!

    I've noticed that the price of ferrous gluconate (iron supplements) has gone down drastically over the years.

  3. I read an article about how India wants to become the medical supply and service center for the world and how they were manufacturing and selling high quality generic drugs. I then did a Google search for online pharmacies and the first two big ones it listed were in India. I Googled their names and found all good reports for both of them. After that I just picked the one with the most professional looking and easy to use website and made a trial order of 50 pills. The drug came in the manufacturer's bubble packs, 10 to a card with an expiry date over a year away and English printing (as well as several other languages). Everything looked very professional so I ordered a year's supply.

  4. Croft
    One of the things we are being told in the states to justify the high drug prices is that there are so many knock-offs and even fake drugs with very realistic packages and manufacturers logos. I suppose an unscrupulous vendor in the states could sell those fake drugs (and I seem to recall there was a sting in Florida), but is seems realistic that more of the fakes would come from overseas. I guess it pays to know your vendor, however the cost of many drugs are way over the top.
    Bill in Nebr.

  5. I think it is another case where although many people have "heard of" someone getting bad drugs, they have not actually done so themselves. Pharmaceutical companies in India are monitored by their government as well and since India wants to become the medical services center for the world, it is unlikely they would allow substandard products to be made there. Millions of people living in those countries use these products as well.

    I know the USA pharmaceutical industry once warned against buying drugs in Canada for the same reason. It turns out that Lipitor sold in Canada and the USA comes out of the same plant in Switzerland.

  6. Lipitor and RV cleaning! You are in the pre-planning stage for heading south. Yeah! Nice change on the pharmaceutical front too.

  7. Hi Croft. Just a word of warning that I'm sure a lot of us are not aware of. My insurance (RBC Visa) when I travel to the States/Mexico requires that any medical condition be "stable"; that is no change in medication for 90 days. There are some exceptions re: blood thinners, diabetes control, etc. All your readers should check their policies.

  8. Be sure to update us on the price in Mexico when you get there. Maybe they have gone down in price also. I have to say I was shocked last week when my family doctor l suggested I wait and buy my meds in Mexico. Things are changing!