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Control the price of prescription drugs!

By Elmer Brunk, a PSARA member

The United States is missing from the list of developed nations in the world in two major areas: 1) Universal Healthcare, and 2) price controls on pharmaceutical drugs.

H.R. 1102, introduced in the U.S. House in March 2013, provides enforcement to limit the cost of drugs under the Medicare Part D insurance. This is a step in the right direction. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Jay Rockefeller will introduce the Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013, a Senate version of the House bill. Unfortunately, neither bill addresses the present high cost of drugs to the American people.

Until Congress acts to control the prices of prescription medication, we can be pro-active in securing medications that are affordable. Frequently people on fixed and/or limited incomes have to choose monthly whether they can afford food to eat or drugs to survive. This reality is unacceptable.

Imported drugs from reputable foreign pharmaceutical suppliers are often maligned as unsafe or ineffective. There are ways to ensure the quality of foreign imports through government requirements in the country where the drugs are manufactured, or by the government through which the drugs are sold and distributed. Most of these certifications are available through online searches.

My wife was prescribed Fareston, a relatively new cancer treating medication. A one month supply (30 capsules) cost $815 at a local pharmacy. Purchasing the same drug, manufactured by the very same Pharmaceutical Company but in different packaging, the cost was 90 capsules (three months supply) for $150.00 from a Canadian source.

We can act to curb the outlandish profits being made by the pharmaceutical companies! Taking actions as individuals and working together with advocacy organizations like PSARA can give us a head start.

Elmer Brunk has offered to assist PSARA members in managing their prescription drug costs. He can be contacted at

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