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Medication from Canada?

Slow-runner
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2017

My husband is being prescribed Capecitabine (generic form of Xeloda). 8 pills/day x7 days then 7 days off, repeat.  Our cost for one month is $1,344.  I see online that I can get this same drug from Canada for a lot less.  Is this for real?  Has anyone used medications from another country?  The price difference is almost too good to be true which is why I am leary. Anyone have any experience with this? Thank you.

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 785
Joined: Oct 2017

I had a look around at prices (my Xeloda pills were $5K+/order - no clue what my insurance actually paid though). I think that they cost $200 or $300 in the Phillipines.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 5739
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm really not sure how the sales go for International drugs but have heard they are a lot less.  I'm not sure how the law works with them coming into the country.  Sorry I'm not able to help - hope someone else is.

Kim

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1277
Joined: Oct 2010

Cost, quality and chemical authenticity are separate issues.   Capecitabine is now a generic 5FU prodrug, for some years.  In asia, the lowest cost brands are much less expensive.  Low cost brands may compete (raise prices) based on perceived quality or country of origin e.g. impurities in the capecitabine or Korea vs China vs India.

India is the easiest to price online as a reference, and one of the lowest price areas at $2-$3 per 500 mg capecitabine pill. There have been some big drug scandals in India, the USA has had scandals too. US import laws and customs interfere with cancer drug imports, even handcarried.  There are policies that allow small imports at Customs/postal discretion for my wife's drug (tegafur-uracil) but its still officially illegal and subject to arbitrary seizure; more to protect big pharma than us.

We have used branded, generic asian drugs overseas for over 8 years without any problems.

Slow-runner
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2017

Thank you for your input.  I was afraid to order overseas, was looking more to Canada. I don't know why I think that would be safer.  I did speak to a cardiologist who cares for my mom and he said that whenever a patient asks for a hard copy of a Rx he assumes they are getting the medication outside the US.  He has no problem with them doing it.  Think we are going to give it a try.

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 785
Joined: Oct 2017

I think that Canada (and other western countries) negotiate national deals with our drug companies so they may very well get the same drugs that we get; just at a much better negotiated price. It may be that our insurance companies get those better prices too - we usually just see the retail price.

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