"How much does that pill cost in Canada?" Part II

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bandit99, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Here is the outcome of my latest rant concerning medical care in the US of A... If you don't want to listen to my moaning and groaning leave now...

    First, everything I say here is a fact and comes from personal first-hand experience with American health care, no second-hand hearsay. I am willing to show receipts or anything else if someone requests it. I have tried my best to keep my comparisons apples to apples in order to not muddy the waters.

    I no longer have medical insurance yet I take a tablet/pill once a day for a condition. These tablets have gone up in price 50% in the last two years and now sell for $15 each or to be exact 90 tablets cost $1370 (Walmart Pharmacy). I decided to see if I could use the 'private' medical care system in Canada to obtain the medicine. Again, this was Canada's 'private' medical care. This is the results.

    Nearest Canadian 'Walk-in' clinic was found to be in Nelson, British Columbia, approximately 2.5 hours drive from me.

    I arrived at the clinic at 09:30, 10 July and was seen immediately. What impressed me was there was four (4) doctors working there and it was a very casual setting, not the antiseptic environment of an American doctor's office. I was truthful with my explanation and the entire event was over in 15 minutes. I took the script to Walmart pharmacy there in Nelson to be filled (since I use Walmart in the states, apples-to-apples) and in 30 minutes I had 3 months worth of medicine, 90 tablets.

    Results (figures are rounded)
    Cost of Doctor visit in states: ~$200 (US dollars)
    Cost of Doctor visit in Canada: $65 (US dollars)

    Cost of medicine in states: $1370 (US dollars, this does not include tax)
    Cost of medicine in Canada: $241 (US dollars, this does include tax)

    Using the same pharmacy (Walmart) and purchasing the exact same medicine (no generic) the difference in cost is astounding - to put it mildly - and I can come up with no excuse or reason that can explain it...well, except one...and that is American citizens are getting screwed, plain and simple.

    My personal opinion, which I cannot prove, is the costs in the USA are so high because medical insurance will pay it (simply passing the costs onto the customers) so medical providers and drug companies push the costs up to push up profits - after all it is a free market. Since Health Care is now a business all three entities (providers, insurance and drug companies) can and will charge whatever they can to maximize their profits. It's perfectly legal even more so since by law, I am forced to have medical insurance or be fined at the end of the year. The health care system in the states is nothing more than a self-licking ice cream cone. It's Blackmail, pure and simple - pay it, whatever the cost, or die.

    Anyway, I am finished...for now. My next step is to write my Senator and Congressman because I truly wish to hear their excuses, I mean, their reasons for a price difference of over 500%. Yeah, I want to hear them explain it... So, I issue this as a warning to those that frown upon or ridicule Canada's medical care; get your facts together, Bozo, because I have mine. Health Care in this country is in the toilet, it's a turd we are being force fed...and we're so stupid that we ask for more! LOL! The Canucks did me a solid and I would take their system any day of the week. They definitely have my respect and appreciation.

    EDIT: One last thing, one can legally bring only a 3-month supply of medicine into the United States at one time...I am beginning to wonder if this is nothing more than protection for their racket.

    EDIT: Also, I forgot to mention, I called the Hospital in Cranbrook since there were no private doctors accept patients and no Walk-in clinics there. Should I wish to use the emergency room doctor there it would cost me $1500 (Canadian) since I was not a Canadian citizen. I couldn't help but think that if we used this system in the USA it would stop cold the illegals using our emergency rooms as their primary care doctors.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  2. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    The flip side of socialized/single payer medicine is the Charlie Gard case. It's been determined by the UK medical system that Charlie's life is not worth saving. His parents are trying to get him to the US for experimental treatment, but the UK medical system will not release him. Now the parents are locked in a legal battle where they must now prove Charlie's life is worth saving while he is running out of time. If they can't get the judge to agree Charlie will be effectively sentenced to death.

    I agree that medical insurance is at the heart of the high medical expenses as are tort lawyers who focus on every company that provides a profitable drug or other medical device for a class action lawsuit to line their own pockets. One of our first steps should be tort law reform so that the plaintiff is required to pay the legal defenses of the defendant if they are unsuccessful.

    I really don't have the answers except that our current system is broken and socialized systems aren't the answer.
    Tully Mars and Legion489 like this.
  3. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @3M-TA3 Reference the 'Charlie Gard' case, which to be honest I didn't read because it is nothing more than like some others of which I have read many times. They are the opposition's scare propaganda and represent isolated incidents. Let's face it, nothing is perfect. But, let's keep comparisons 'apples-to-apples' for no one said our system has to be like the UK's or Germany's or even Canada's. We should take the best of their systems and address their failures directly. Why does everyone immediately assume we are going to do exactly like others? Hell, when has America ever done anything exactly like anyone else even it's the right thing to do!?!? "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing...after they have tried everything else." - Winston Churchill I would like to think that we would do like President Ataturk did when composing the Turkish constitution and brought in specialists from around the world and took the best from all the their constitutions.

    "One of our first steps should be tort law reform..." I couldn't agree more. I believe Germany and the UK has this law but would have to check it because my information is second-hand.
  4. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    In California I have had doctors ask me if I had insurance to cover a medical bill or was going to be paying cash. I asked what the difference was and the bill would double with insurance. A $200 alternative medicine bill was $30 when paid with cash. There is something going on with the medical industry. Its called a scam.

    Alternatively I have had hospitals in Maine refuse to treat me.
    Mountainman, whynot and Bandit99 like this.
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @enloopious "I asked what the difference was and the bill would double with insurance."

    BINGO! I have heard this also a couple of times from people and the latest was a from a friend where the difference in the insurance cost was in excess of 10X. It would be almost impossible to prove but if one could it would be a billion dollar lawsuit...
    mysterymet likes this.
  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Sounds good to me.

    Tell all the scabs coming into the US that you found a better deal in Canada.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Wait what? I thought socialized health care was the devil and made you wait a year to see a doctor??!!

    Pity you aint closer to Bellingham....my doc does private pay for $50/visit. If you brought your records from the states in, i'm quite sure he'd write you a recurring script for 90 day refills for a year without even blinking. On top of that, the clinic also has a built-in compounding pharmarcy that very well might be willing to mail them if you provided self-addressed fed-ex packages....they deliver to my door for $6.00 "dispensing fee" which I can 100% write off on my taxes.

    Anyway...I'm glad you saved some loot and hope you had some good eats on my side of the line.

    Motomom34 likes this.
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @Imasham Very good article. Thanks! It was interesting to read that the real reason Canada's drugs are so much cheaper is basically because Americans are being priced gouged, "US consumers, who are locked in Big Pharma’s captive market, pay brutally inflated costs..." That's the bottom line, we're being seriously screwed and our non-representing representatives don't give a damn. And, yes, I did have a very positive experience and frankly I intend to use Canada's medical service as much as possible in the future. Also, I really like the idea of telling a local paper, really like it. I am writing my Congressman and Senator soon

    Actually, Nelson is a lovely little town and people were real nice and went out of their way to explain things. We had a blast. The doctor was from South Africa. And, yeah, I saved a ton of money, a $1000 bucks. Going to go next month to Cranbrook and see what's it like and pick up some more meds as the doc gave me a year's prescription...but the damn USA Customs will only let me bring in 90 day supply, so 90 tablets, at a time.
    Motomom34 and Mindgrinder like this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I think your rant is a bit late.

    You see there is this bit of information.

    In Congress, Senators McCain and Klobuchar have reintroduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act. It would allow Americans with a valid prescription to purchase their drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies.

    But Feel Free to Rant On
  10. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    About that 'cheap' medical care in Canada

    The chances of a patient winning a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor in Canada are slim, according to a new book entitled After the Error: Speaking Out About Patient Safety to Save Lives.

    The book, put together by microbiologist Susan McIver and retired nurse Robin Wyndham, contains a collection of stories about patients who said they suffered from medical errors while being treated in the health-care system. Citing various studies, the authors say these mistakes contribute to between 38,000 and 43,000 deaths in Canada each year and many more individuals suffer serious harm.

    One chapter, by Halifax lawyer John McKiggan, focuses on the ability of patients to obtain financial compensation through the courts. He writes that every medical error, known as an “adverse event,” is a potential malpractice case. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, McKiggan estimates that medical errors could theoretically generate over 100,000 lawsuits every year. Yet relatively few errors result in litigation. From 2005 to 2010, only 4,524 lawsuits were filed against Canadian doctors. During that five-year period, 3,089 claims were dismissed or abandoned “because the court dismissed the claim or the victim or the victim’s family quit, ran out of money or died before trial,” according to McKiggan.

    And out of 521 cases that went to trial, only 116 led to a judgment that favoured the patient. And the median damage awarded was just $117,000, he noted.

    Compare to the multimillion $ awards handed out by Ami juries.

    US medicine isn't the scam, its the damn lawyers....
    mysterymet and 3M-TA3 like this.
  11. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    I have to refill my scripts in a couple weeks...i'll inquire aboot your scenario and ask if they'd be willing to mail them. I'm fairly sure they'll say "ok - with script, address etc."

    If you wanna have another OMG moment....ask your 'murican pharmacy how much for Provigil per pill.
    ($400+USD for 30 pills) - i pay $30....and ONLY because it's not a standard bipolar med...else it would be $0. The lithium, lamotragine, trazadome, etc etc etc was always $0. Figures the only one i have to pay for is the one that works eh?

    Cranbrook sucks. If the CP Rail boys are in town - avoid the pubs or dont advertise that you're 'murican. It could go either way. I chit you not.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  12. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    I am not a big fan of Provigil. It caused me to get dizzy. Extremely dizzy and nauseous.
  13. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Several other things affect medicine costs too.
    I and my late Mother were both State employees, retired. We had our HMOs tgrough the same company, but different plans, and she had Medicare too. Her pharmacy was initially Walmart, which Dad had set up. My pharmacy was Publix grocery store.
    We had two meds in common. Mine were considerably cheaper than hers. She had other meds that were very expensive. After Dad passed away and I retired, I became her primary caregiver. I had her switch pharmacies to Publix, same store I used. Convenient, as we could get our meds together, and when her condition worsened and she couldn't go, I could pick up hers along with mine.
    Her meds were much cheaper at Publix.
    So, shop around, if Canada isn't viable (which for Floridians, it isn't.)
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The medical situation in America is truly disgusting. The only people who support this corporate taxation scheme are Liberals and fervent nationalists who have no clue what they're talking about.

    Also, as long as any changes to the current system ignores the mandatory insurance policy and IRS tax scheme, it's only going to continue to be more of the same scam shoved down our throats.
    mysterymet, Bandit99 and Mindgrinder like this.
  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yeah, yeah, yeah...and how many Bills that are introduced actually get signed into laws? And, with the huge profit gouging and the massive medical/Insurance lobbyists - well - I ain't holding my breath. Sanders first proposed the bill a long time ago if I remember correctly, not sure what happened to it but it still isn't law...and only about 4% of bills get made into laws if my memory serves me correctly, maybe 5% when the Congress actually feels like doing something.

    @Mindgrinder "I have to refill my scripts in a couple weeks...i'll inquire aboot your scenario and ask if they'd be willing to mail them. I'm fairly sure they'll say "ok - with script, address etc."
    Thanks! I am going to check into mail order next. I'll probably talk to @T. Riley about it since he's been doing it for a while. But, like I said, when I mail ordered meds about 10 years my card number got stolen, some guy in London was buying designer jeans with it. LOL! And, the Feds here only allow you to bring in 90 days supply even via mail order. Now, obviously, even the Feds do not have the manpower or resources to check ever package coming in for a few extra pills but it is against the law nevertheless and I do try to still within the guidelines of the law most the time...
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  16. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Doubtful our docs will give you more than 90 days in 1 shot....refills are different.
  17. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    He said he has a full year scrip. He should be able to use that to get a few fills. I would go to a couple of different pharmacies though. I think he would have success through mail order though.
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Most LEO's are pretty reluctant to look under a Kotex box, Just say'n
    Bandit99 and Mindgrinder like this.
  19. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I suppose I am stirring the pot but certainly not for my own delight. No matter what you think of me, I do have better things to do than this. It puts me at odds with most Americans and I take no-joy in it. But, there has been so much bogus information relative to this topic that my intent is to present hard facts. As for a solution, sure I will give you one, give me/us the same deal the Canadians have. There. Don't like it? Ummm, sorry about that...We're not asking for a handout just reasonable price medicine, just what's fair. We get trillion dollar fighter aircraft and Canadians get reasonable priced medicine. But, honestly, my point in this to show first-hand how Americans are being totally screwed. Unlike most, I spent my life overseas and seen first hand numerous Heath Care in numerous countries. Since I wasn't military or government I had to use the health care that was available. What I first noticed when I returned a few years, the huge difference in cost in medicine, couldn't believe it at first and ignored it - until now. As far as writing letters, this will not be the first time I have written my Congressman or Senator since my return, it will be the second time and, frankly, I consider it a civic duty to try to involve myself especially if I see something that isn't right. I am the same way with Local government also, in fact, I am going to a meeting tonight on 'Zoning Ordnance change.' I will not be speaking but simply there as a show of support. I did receive a phone call from the Congressman last time but expect nothing this time because I am sure they know the situation but we'll see...

    @Imasham "...the law states, according to you, that you can only bring in 90 tablets AT A TIME"
    Yes, that is what I remember and no mention of 'amount of entries/times' but I will have to read it again. The last time I read it was about a year ago when wife went to Central Asia to visit mother and she brought back antibiotics and some other medicines. I didn't want her getting hassled, since her English isn't so good, so dug into it in detail what was allowed. Anyway, that is my intent: I will bring a year's worth of meds from Canada via my 1-year prescription and also try mail ordering the meds via my America prescription. I know Creston has some small pharmacies and I will probably go there since it is the closest, not sure about Salmo but I'm certain they will have something; they must. But, Nelson was such a pretty and nice town and we actually had a really nice time and the road to it is really good so we'll see...

    @Mindgrinder "Doubtful our docs will give you more than 90 days in 1 shot....refills are different."
    Yep! The doctor gave me 90-day prescription (90 pills) with 3 refills (so 1-years' worth) but I can fill the entire prescription, all 360 tablets, if I want since I am paying for it out of my own pocket. I just need to call them first and give them a few days to get it ready.
  20. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Where do you get this tripe? There are things called 'patents.' And, this allows the research company some protection in order to recoup some of their R&D money for a specific amount of years. The amount of years depend on numerous variables. After the patent is finished then other companies, which all are International companies now to include so-called American companies, can produce a generic version. So, given this, explain why even generic drugs are so much more expensive in the states than abroad and not just a cost-of-living increase but huge heads and shoulders, unexplainable increase?

    "Of course since the US protects Canada then CN leans on the US and for protection, more freebies to the CN Folks and more low cost meds."
    Ah...no. America is protecting America, not Canada, hell, they are more interested in protecting their Market Share than protecting Canada. I think what you are trying to say is that if the Canadians spent more on their military then we wouldn't have to do so. All I can say to that is BS. I am very pro-military (8 years in) but it is pretty hard to justify the expenditure of $1.5T in this day and age. At $135-150M per aircraft? Really? Okay, whatever...but, I still want a fair deal on meds. That's it. A fair deal, not a Socialist, Communist state just a fair deal...Or, am I asking too much?

    "I have seen the UKs ward system, I have seen what is in Mexico, India etc. "
    And, what? You are going to tell the nightmare tale of death and woe? Seems most of the Brits here like to keep their passports so they can have access to that nightmarish 'UK ward' system and Mexico and India are not a first-world nation, let's keep comparisons the same. We are a first-world nation as is Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Australia, etc., etc., etc...

    "I have Doc friends in the war zones doing Missionary work and using free drugs from the US Pharmacy Producers. One Doc in particle retired at 60, he is now 71 and working for free."
    First off, it costs the Pharmaceutical companies nothing, tax write off plus it is good publicity and it's only a drop in a very large bucket. Second, what does missionary doctors working in war zones have to do with the $240 vs $1370 or drug pricing in the US? Is this what they call a 'Red Herring' or 'Bait and Switch'? I always get confused.

    "I am surprised that you are on a survival site and have such blinders."
    Well, guess I could say the same for it appears that you are one of those that just cannot believe, and certainly not admit, even when the facts are place directly in front of your eyes that the citizens of this country are being financial raped! Blatantly, robbed! We made the choices that brought us to this, not the Canadians and their military budget or any other country or any other thousands of excuses. The blame is right here....so... So, $240 vs $1370. That is a fact. That is a bottom line. And, one is a fair price and the other is...robbery and an injustice against all Americans. 'Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.' — Mark Twain
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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