Everyone keeps telling me to try to get my Gleevec from Canada because prescription drugs are suppose to be so much cheaper there. I don't see how it could be cheaper because it is patented, but does anyone know?
Gleevec in Canada
Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:08 AM
Yes it is patented so you would still be buying from Novartis ultimately, but companies price their goods at different levels in different countries depending on what they think the local market can bear and they obviously think Canadians are poorer and/or less gullible than Americans. It only works as long as there are legal barriers to prevent wholesale arbitrage from taking place - such as the fact that I believe you're not legally allowed to import drugs from Canada.
If you want it really cheap then you have to go all the way to India where the Novartis patent isn't recognised.
Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:42 AM
My mother recently told me she had looked into this when I first got diagnosed. She was concerned about the cost and wondered if I was ever without insurance how I would get the drug. She has family in Canada. She said from what she found, the price was pretty much the same.
As Phil mentioned, if your back was really against the wall and you had no other options, you would try to get the generic out of India. In a few years Gleevec will be generic worldwide and the cost should come down a bit.
Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:34 AM
I live in the Toronto, Ontario area. The first pharmacy charged $4,150.00 for 400mg, 30 pills of GLEEVEC 18 months ago. Shortly after that I changed pharmacy and currently I'm being charged $3,972.00. The difference between the 2 drug stores at the beginning was over $200. We are covered 100% for drugs through work insur., but I don't like to be overcharged. So from what know Gleevec is not much cheaper here in Canada. Jeff
Message was edited by: Jeff J
Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:09 PM
The cost can vary from province to province. I feel guilty saying this but I get mine for free in Alberta and it is covered by the cancer board. I know I am very fortunate that I do not have to worry about the cost of the medication and it bothers me how I read posts about what people have to go through to get some help financially to cover the huge cost of these drugs.
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