CIPA Study: Many Americans continue to buy meds from Canada to curb costs
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — In a new survey of approximately 2,700 American customers, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association found continued demand for safely ordering prescription medications online from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
Approximately 64% of respondents purchase some or all of their health maintenance medications from a non-U.S. pharmacy because of the costs of filling the prescriptions. Another 22% said medications are not covered under their insurance plan.
Many news reports and independent studies have documented the issue of dramatically rising medication prices and challenges Americans experience in affording their prescriptions. Twenty-five percent of survey respondents underscored this issue by acknowledging that lack of money has kept someone in their household from filling prescriptions during the last year, according to the findings. Approximately 30% reported having to skip doses, split pills, or take similar actions to restrict their use of prescribed medications because of high costs.
Customers reported spending $250 per month per prescription on average to order a 90-day supply of prescription medications for personal use, and saving approximately $246 (or 50%) per month by importing their medications from Canadian pharmacies.
According to the research, Americans predict serious health consequences without this option. Approximately 32% say they would only be able to fill some medications. Another 11% would not be able to purchase any of their medications. Previous reports have highlighted the issue of patients going off medications or rationing and the resulting harm to health along with the costs to the health care system. Further, since many who import their medications from Canada are seniors on Medicare, non-adherence and the resulting health implications and costs are a burden to the American taxpayer, researchers stated.
A majority of respondents (86%) reported their age as 55 years or older. In addition, 57% say their health insurance is self-funded and that they must fully cover the costs of their medications.
CIPA is an association of licensed retail pharmacies that sell 90-day supplies of pharmaceuticals and maintenance medications (but not controlled substances) to both Canadians and Americans with a valid prescription.