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Am I the only one who thinks all this talk of buying drugs from Canada is nonsense? It seems that way, from watching our high officials discuss it so seriously on television.

True, many drugs are cheaper in Canada. And as long as the practice of buying drugs over there is limited to a few people in border towns, such as Buffalo, there are real savings to be had.

True, drugs are most expensive in the United States. Possibly the insured American is picking up the research and development tab for the rest of the world. Marketing, profits, and the cost of product liability (much less in Canada), are other major contributors to the cost of drugs in the USA.

Let's say Big Pharma is abusing the system by making most of its profits and paying its research and development off the insured American, then selling closer to cost in Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the world. Is it really going to continue "discounting" Canada, if the entire United States starts to buy its drugs over there? More likely, Big Pharma will just raise its prices in Canada to match those in the USA. Big Pharma is not going to let the tail wag the dog.

Buying drugs in Canada is a viable option for a few; but as a solution for America's pharmaceutical costs, it can never work.

Tim Siepel, M.D.


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