Medications are crucial for patients with serious illnesses or diseases, yet trying to afford them can be a problem.
The cost of healthcare continues to rise each year making it harder for Americans to afford their medicine. Whether you have Diabetes or some sort of surgery, the cost may exceed what one might think. Simply relying on insurance companies won’t always help. Of course there are small alternatives such as looking online to compare prices such as GoodRx. However more Americans are going as far as traveling to another country to afford cheaper medication.
Crossing the Canadian border for a cheaper price tag seems to be the only option for most Americans trying to save money.
Insulin itself is a lifeline for people with diabetes. According to the CDC, there are over 100 million diabetics in America. It’s a life or death situation when it comes to purchasing Insulin that overcomes everything else. Sarah Stark, a Type 1 diabetic said, “not a lot of people could afford that co-pay… and I’ve seen them have to walk away,” which is shocking. Having to walk away from purchasing an important medication due to the cost is not okay.
Medical insurance companies should stop overpricing medication for patients. It’s understandable that one needs to make an income in order for their business or company to thrive, yet it looks like they are sucking low-income families dry.
Health is a human right, not a privilege. The U.S. seems to be considered the country with the best healthcare in the world. Still people are traveling to other countries to get the medication they need.
The Trump Administration is working on a plan to lower the price of certain drugs and medications. Caitlin B Oakley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said “President (Donald) Trump and (health) secretary (Alex) Azar are firmly committed to getting drug prices down.”
The plans of the Trump Administration is to simply legalize the importation of drugs, but the catch is that people will still have to pay wholesale price, which can still be high for some.
Robin Cressman, an advocate and activist, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2012 and has opted to travel to Tijuana for medication at a fraction of the cost. If people are considering to travel to other countries to get medication, they might as well stock up and save themselves the time and energy for traveling frequently.
Americans are better off traveling to get what they need, and of course there are limitations on how much medication one can bring over to the states. The FDA still enforces some sort of restrictions on how much medication one person can actually bring back. Other than stating that the medication is only for personal use, people are limited to a 90 day supply only. The restrictions are placed due to the fact that the FDA may think you might be selling medication for personal gain.
It’s not just medicine that people are leaving the country for, but also medical procedures. A patient and surgeon actually went to Mexico to have a medical procedure done as it comes to be cheaper. A regular knee surgery could cost thousands of dollars even with good insurance however it was less expensive outside of the US.
There should be more alternative options of receiving cheaper medication, and we should push insurance companies to somehow put like a limit or cap on out of pocket pay. It seems a bit absurd and unnecessary that people, and not just Americans, are leaving their country and going to another just to get medication that is cheaper.
Medicine is crucial for people of all walks of life, and they shouldn’t be going to extremes to obtain it.