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Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that allowing Americans to import prescription drugs from Canada enjoys broad support. In fact a survey conducted in August 2015 found that 72% of the public now favors personal importation from Canada. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Millions of Americans have personally experienced the cost savings that can come from ordering prescription drugs through a reputable online Canadian pharmacy.

While younger demographics have increasingly used online pharmacies for their medication needs, seniors are still among the most frequent customers because they are often under the most financial pressure when it comes to buying prescription drugs and benefit the most when ordering online. Medicare often falls short of providing the prescription drug coverage seniors need. When it does many turn to Canada for extra help.

We created our own scenario using an actually prescribed group of medications to demonstrate how good the savings can be. We used a basket of five prescription medications that a patient may take and compared their prices from a number of sources. We looked at what they would cost if they were paid for with cash, Medicare/Insurance, or bought through a Canadian International Pharmacy Association approved Canadian pharmacy.

Monthly Cost of Prescription Drugs

DrugTabs/MonthGoodRx.com1Medicare/Insurance2CIPA Pharmacies3Atorvastatin 40 mg30$142.00$6.00$18.77Esomeprazole 40 mg30$240.00$45.00$24.12Chlorthalidone 50 mg30$28.00$17.00$14.94Meloxicam 15 mg30$34.00$6.00$11.40$66.00 (Deductible)Total$444.00$140.00$69.231Used to estimate the monthly cash price of each medication.

2Calculated using the AARP Medicare RX Plus Preferred plan.

3This price reflects the average price of five, CIPA approved, pharmacies on July 11, 2016. Individual pharmacy prices may vary.

The patient in this scenario saved $70.77/month by ordering with a CIPA approved pharmacy as opposed to going through their Medicare/Insurance plan. If you stretch this out over a year the total savings come to $849.24. For seniors on social security with a fixed income, that savings can be a big help. Granted, the scenario is only theoretical and you’re situation may be different. But this is an example of what can be done.

Many seniors we have talked to have told us they combine getting medications through Medicare with ordering online. They say they can often find greater savings by mixing and matching Medicare with ordering online. They may order their health maintenance medications online and save Medicare for times when their prescription suddenly changes and they cannot wait to get their drugs in the mail. Opening up personal importation to all Americans should be a priority of the US government. It would provide everyone with the opportunity and flexibility to save money while ensuring they are getting safe medications from reputable sources.

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