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Medications from Canada, India etc?
Old 05-19-2014, 07:15 PM   #1
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Medications from Canada, India etc?

Question:
Has anyone ordered medication from India? In looking up a very expensive (non medicare covered) medication...
$96 Walmart, and $93 Walgreens... I found an Indian Pharma offering the same generic for $14....
Not sure, but think the mfgr is associated with Astrazeneca.
I didn't order, but wondered if there are restrictions in shipping and how the laws against foreign pharma imports are enforced. Ten years ago, we bought all of our medications from Canada, and saved at least 50%...
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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Must be OK. You're still posting.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:31 PM   #3
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I wouldn't buy medication from India. It is a largely developing country with extreme poverty, poor infrastructure and unenforced regulations. The medications can be adulterated and don't face much government scrutiny. It's really risky to buy medications outside of the developed world.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:57 PM   #4
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I have purchased drugs from England and saved a ton. I faxed a prescription to a pharmacy that does intl shipping and voila - shipped right to my door at about 75% off. I've also had friends purchase some drugs (e.g., lamisil tablets for DH's toenail fungus) at a pharmacy in Mexico while they were on vacation. We had lots of people warn us that the quality of the drugs may be suspect, but DH used them and they worked great. (BTW, he was monitored by a doctor with bloodwork while taking the drugs). I paid $10 for a 3 month supply - US cost was $600.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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Also, a little off topic, but I have had several friends that have recently gone abroad for medical and dental care. Apparently Costa Rica is a well-known place to have expensive dental work done at much lower rates. I even recently talked with a client who had a brother that had heart bypass surgery done in Thailand for less than $10K. His surgeon was educated and trained in the US and I think he had high quality care. I think this is becoming more common as prices in the US continue to escalate for care and for drugs.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:26 PM   #6
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A lot of our medicines already come from overseas. IIRC, the USA no longer has the ability to make antibiotics from scratch. We either import the antibiotic or the ingredients necessary to make the antibiotics.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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This is an interesting topic, since we bought a very expensive drug directly from India a while back, and we were also concerned. Did you know that 40% of OTC and generic prescriptions used in the US are made in India? So you probably are now using drugs made there, but purchased here. There's a layer of safety that you lose if you buy directly from India instead of through a US company, since recourse is difficult if there is a problem with the drug.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:15 PM   #8
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I was in South Africa, got a cluster/migraine headache. I didn't think twice about buying medication(a controlled substance in US), at the pharmacy/chemist. That said, I would be careful ordering from many other countries. I wouldn't order that same med online from S.A., being in the pharmacy made it legit for me.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:01 PM   #9
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Oh my, rocketing outside the mother ship’s sphere of influence, frontier living on the fringe among the rebel alliance.

Several items in Japan were off limits for US servicemen/sofa status members to purchase.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:26 AM   #10
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Personally I wouldn't hesitate to get medications from Canada and while the brand name medications are cheaper in Canada, the generics are usually less expensive in the USA. The problem is knowing if they are truly from Canada and not just a fake website where you are getting drugs from someone making them in their bathtub

tfudtuckerpucker has it right....40% of finished drugs come from over seas, 80% of active ingredients are sourced outside the USA, 20% of U.S. generics are sourced from India, the number of FDA approved manufacturing sites located in India are 100 (only the USA has more). 500 Indian companies are approved by the FDA to provide contract manufacturing services for major U. S. brand name and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.


I guess the next question is how well is the FDA in keeping up and actually doing these inspections, how involved are they? You hear about budget cuts and you wonder what gets cut first, these inspections? Heck companies here in the US try to mess around....Tylenol recall and Theraflu due to FDA inspections of manufacturing facilities not up to snuff.

Its all about the Benjamins
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:21 AM   #11
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I ordered some generic Prevacid from India one time before the generic was available in the US. What I got looked aged and poorly labeled and the packaging looked cheap. I threw it all away and never took any.

Now I have been receiving spam emails wanting me to order more from email addresses on outlook.com. It is never the same email twice and the wording and grammar of the mails looks like a poor translation or use of English.

I would not recommend ever buying any pharmaceuticals directly from India.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
A lot of our medicines already come from overseas. IIRC, the USA no longer has the ability to make antibiotics from scratch. We either import the antibiotic or the ingredients necessary to make the antibiotics.
Basically true. And some drugs/vaccines are no longer produced in US. But I would not make blanket statements about antibiotics, or any other class of drugs, as production details often change rapidly. Bottom line is there are many modern international pharmaceutical production facilities supplying the world market. But if ordering on the web, I would be most concerned about fraud. There have been many, many cases reported of drugs actually delivered being fakes. Some even with pretty realistic looking labeling. Important to deal only with reputable vendors with a long track record of integrity and safety.

FWIW- I've had many Indian friends in health care fields who travel to India regularly and often refill their personal prescriptions there. ALL have told me it is very, VERY important to only deal with the best pharmacies. There are many firms who make a living selling junk meds to tourists. I'm sure those same firms would be happy to sell on the web too
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:31 AM   #13
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For years we ordered Advair (asthma inhaler) from a Canadian site and it came from India. Never a problem.
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:56 PM   #14
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I buy the dogs' heartworm preventative and flea treatment as well as my own Voltaren Gel from Australia. The cost savings more than covers the postage and it arrives lickety-split. My parents buy something from Canada. I'd be hesitant to make a purchase from a pharmacy in India even though all the big pharmaceutical manufacturers have plants there. There is too much of a risk for counterfits. Roche or Novartis knows what they are making in their plants, you have no way of knowing where the medication came from. It's a completely different suppky chain (which even the biggies have trouble with).
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:57 PM   #15
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To the OP, I probably wouldn't bother for $10 or $20 a month, but some drugs are insanely priced in the US. I have seen dozens of cases where the best price in the US is 25 times more than the international mail order price. For example $2000 per month to get it at the local pharmacy, or get it mailed from over seas for $80. That is not an exaggeration!

My experience is limited with actually getting drugs from overseas, but I think it works like any mail order pharmacy...you might need to order and pay, then have your doc fax the prescription, including your unique order number.

I tend to fall in line with the thinking that drugs made in India are probably OK if purchased through normal, respected channels. I saw a delivery from a big name outfit and the product looked like it was carefully packaged (same kind of specific batch information printed on the packaging, reflecting Good Manufacturing Process). I know that at least some of the pharmaceutical companies in India follow GMP since we sold software to support that process...and that was 20 years ago!
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:29 PM   #16
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On the money part...
Here's an interesting story about the most effective medication for gouty arthritis...
Colchicine is a 200 year old drug that has been effective above all other medications. A US Company, URL PHARMA (now Sun Pharma)... approached the FDA and asked to be permitted to do a study on colchicine, which, though in use for many years, had been classified as an "old drug" and as such, not "FDA approved". The FDA agreed, and gave the company approval to market their replacement drug Colcrys... and also gave them the exclusive rights for sale and distribution for three years, and at the same time, banned colchicine from sale in the US.
I'm familiar with this, as for a while, I was taking colchicine. At that time, the price per tablet was less than $.10... Today, to take the equivalent... the price at Walmart is $5.30/tablet.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmp1003126
excerpt:
Quote:
The implications of market exclusivity for the public health can be substantial. After the FDA approved Colcrys, the manufacturer brought a lawsuit seeking to remove any other versions of colchicine from the market and raised the price by a factor of more than 50, from $0.09 per pill to $4.85 per pill. These increased prices directly affect the availability of the drug to patients with gout or FMF who have long been using colchicine safely in an evidence-based manner. Exclusivity can also affect health care delivery more broadly. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, state Medicaid programs filled about 100,000 prescriptions of colchicine in 2007 and paid approximately $1 million for the drug. Use of the new brand-name colchicine could add as much as $50 million per year to these insurance programs' budgets at a time when they are addressing the rising costs of health care by reducing some services or raising eligibility thresholds.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:26 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I'm familiar with this, as for a while, I was taking colchicine. At that time, the price per tablet was less than $.10... Today, to take the equivalent... the price at Walmart is $5.30/tablet.
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excerpt:
Why do we put up with this crap? Part of it is that we have insurance, so might as well use it. And I guess the insurance companies don't care...they pass on the costs, and maybe even make more money (if their earnings are a function of the price). So nobody is minding the store and we're getting taken to the cleaners. This bugs the crap out of me!
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:43 AM   #18
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I live in Canada, and just last night I saw a news story on TV about counterfeit prescriptions making their way into the country. They said that even if you think you are buying online from a Canadian pharmacy, it may be a false front and the drugs could be counterfeit. They recommended buying only from verified Canadian pharmacies (but they didn't give any tips on how to identify which are real and which are fakes).

I believe this site can be used to determine which Canadian pharmacies are real:
Verify Pharmacy « Canadian International Pharmacy Association
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Why do we put up with this crap? Part of it is that we have insurance, so might as well use it. And I guess the insurance companies don't care...they pass on the costs, and maybe even make more money (if their earnings are a function of the price). So nobody is minding the store and we're getting taken to the cleaners. This bugs the crap out of me!
+1

And when anyone (inc. insurance company, gov't, business, even individual) does try to take a stand on cost the public gives 'em no support. Everyone wants (almost) unlimited access to EVERY drug (& test/device/surgery/etc) with little or no copays. But there is no endless pot-of-gold to fund such opulence. Studies consistently show US vastly outspends every other country on heath care but does NOT have better outcomes. Somehow we Americans still think more expensive must mean better. Fact is many of the high cost drugs (& tests, procedures, equipment, hardware, surgeries, etc.) offer only minor (if any) independently proven benefits over much cheaper (sometimes safer) alternatives. At some point someone has to say ENOUGH. We are NOT paying this king's ransom for your snake oil based on your slick advertising and heavily sponsored 'scientific' studies (too often later contradicted by INDEPENDENT research).
HI has already become unaffordable for many in US, "Affordable" Care Act or not. Without serious cost containment it will soon become unaffordable for ALL (inc. Gov't's Medicare, Medicaid, & ACA subsidies).
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #20
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High cost drugs?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/bu...nted=1&_r=0&hp
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