Sunday, May 25, 2008

Canadian drugstores are losing U.S. sales

From the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger:
Anthony Iwaszko used to fill his prescriptions through mail-order pharmacies in Canada, where he found the prices for his costly hypertension and cholesterol medicines were substantially lower.

Now, the 73-year-old retired Belmar resident purchases all of his medicines in the United States.

"I stopped buying from Canada about two years ago when I was able to get the new Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage," Iwaszko said.

Only a few years ago, there was a mass movement by senior citizens to "remiport" drugs from Canada, where many brand-name medicines cost half of what they sold for at pharmacies in the United States. Canadian pharmacies were frequent advertisers in newspapers and on websites.

Today, more and more seniors like Iwaszko have given up buying their medicine from Canada. By some estimates, the flow of prescription drugs across the border has been cut in half over the past few years.

"The business certainly has decreased," said Gord Haugh, head of the Canadian International Pharmacists Association. "At the height of business about three or four years ago, we were probably approaching about a billion dollars in sales, and I think it is probably down now to between $400 million and $500 million." ...more

No comments: