Discounting Drugs from the Great White North

Looking at a great piece of legislation, a new bill has been introduced by senators of the state of Rhode Island to combat a major issue, medication prices. In the Rhode Island bill (S2070), the Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Program is aimed to help combat the high prices in the ocean state, a problem reflected upon the nation as a whole.

As it currently stands, the price point for Canadian generics (the same drug without the name brand) is, on average, 38% lower than the comparable brand price in Canada. In stark contrast,  generic prices within the United States were 74% lower than the comparable U.S. brand price. Comparing the two, patients who purchase drugs in America are paying up to 88% over their Canadian counterparts.

Seeing this as a way to save Rhode Islanders money, this bi-partisan bill was proposed by Senators Dennis Algiere (R), Jessica de la Cruz (R), Alana DiMario (D), Louis DiPalma (D), Maryellen Goodwin (D), Valarie Lawson (D), Michael McCaffrey (D), Joshua Miller (D), Dominick Ruggerio (D) is currently in committee. In addition to bringing the prescriptions to Rhode Island, the bill calls for the designation of a state agency to become a licensed drug wholesaler, or to contract with a licensed drug wholesaler, the use of prescription drug suppliers in Canada to ensure that only drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration are imported; and would import only specific drugs expected to generate savings to help Rhode Islanders. In addition, the bill would prohibit the distribution or sale of these drugs outside of Rhode Island.

While Rhode Islanders are still burdened with a boat-load of taxes and expenses from a failing public school system to facing the highest utility costs in the continental United States, this bill is undoubtedly a great step in the right direction in helping residents save money to heal and help their citizens grow, just as they are sworn in to do.

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