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High Drug Prices Remain A Top Public Policy Priority Amid Fresh Threats from Big Pharma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans importing prescription drugs for personal use report saving over $1,000 more in 2021 than 2020, in survey results released today by the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI). Average annual savings increased by over $1,000 to $3,744 per person in 2021, up from $2,736 in 2020, through purchases from licensed Canadian pharmacies compared to costs in the U.S.

“Americans are finding increasing savings, to the tune of thousands of dollars, on critically needed medications through personal prescription importation from licensed Canadian pharmacies,” says Jack Pfeiffer, executive director of CPPI. “Americans are warning Congress against the DRUGS Act and attacks against personal importation, as 96% of respondents say that addressing the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is important to the way they vote.”

Key Findings

  • Increase in average reported savings, up to $3,744 in 2021 from $2,736 in 2020 for Americans who import prescription medications from certified online Canadian pharmacies; savings average of $312 per month, compared to U.S. costs.

  • 95% of respondents cite the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. as the primary reason for ordering from licensed online Canadian pharmacies.

  • Over 96% of respondents say that addressing the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is important to the way they vote. 84% say it is very or extremely important to their voting behavior.

  • 98% of respondents would recommend importation to their friends and family members.

  • There is a continued increase in the percentage of Americans who reported ordering prescription drugs from online Canadian pharmacies for their first time, 17% in 2021 up from 13% in 2020 and 8% in 2019.

Over 5 million Americans personally import medications from abroad, where lower prices afford Americans access to the prescription drugs that are 50 to 90% cheaper at licensed international pharmacies than in the U.S.

95% Say High U.S. Drug Prices Drive Prescription Importation

The CPPI survey results come as America’s drug prices soar out of control, and unreliable access to affordable prescription drugs plagues millions of Americans. U.S. prices increased on over 800 drugs in January of 2022, alone. Nearly one in three Americans say they’ve skipped medical treatment in the previous three months due to costs. Missed medication is a leading cause of rising medical costs, medical complications, and even death.

The 131 million-plus Americans who take prescription medications, including at least 5 million who import medications, need immediate and long-term cost-saving solutions.

The CPPI survey results indicate that Americans can find immediate benefits by purchasing their medications from licensed international pharmacies.

96% Warn Congress

More than 96% of CPPI survey respondents warn that lowering high drug prices is important to how they will vote in 2022, while fewer than 4% find the issue unimportant.

The CPPI survey results come amid a fresh attack against Americans’ access to critical medications through personal prescription importation. On December 31, 2021, right as the CPPI survey came to a close, Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Marco Rubio (FL) introduced the DRUGS Act (‘Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers Act, S.3399). The bill would cut Americans off from licensed international pharmacies on which they depend for affordable access to their critical medications. The special interest groups backing the DRUGS Act have habitually used the opioid crisis to attack prescription importation from international pharmacies.

“This survey is more evidence of why Americans need access to safe international pharmacies. The DRUGS Act would rob millions of Americans of the daily prescription medications they need to live, yet often cannot afford due to skyrocketing U.S. drug prices,” said Pfeiffer.

Survey Reported Savings

While the average reported savings is $312 per month, more than 75% of survey respondents reported saving $100 or more a month by personally ordering their prescriptions from online Canadian pharmacies. Thirty-nine percent reported saving over $200 a month. For the 24% of respondents who reported saving over $300 a month, the average monthly savings is $777, up from $755 in 2020. Price comparisons regularly show that online Canadian pharmacies offer Americans savings of 50-90% on brand-name prescription medications compared to leading U.S. pharmacies, GoodRx and AmazonPharmacy.

Frank Morrelli from Florida says, “I have been taking corlanor for about five months. I have to order it from Canada. This is necessary because it is not in the formulary with my insurance company. The out-of-pocket cost is over $500 per month in the U.S. This is ridiculous. I can get it from Canada for about $55 per month. Without this medication, there are no other options for me.” Additional Testimonies

How to Find a Safe Pharmacy

The Coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of having access to safe, reliable and affordable medications. The importance increases for people with multiple underlying conditions, as the 68% of survey respondents who report taking four or more medications can attest.

  • 59% of surveyed Americans who import their prescriptions report being referred by a trusted medical professional, friend or family member.

  • 77% of survey respondents know how to identify “rogue” pharmacies and are savvy in their search to find an online pharmacy they can trust.

  • 94% report NO concerns with the mediccation they are currently ordering from Canada

  • 98% would recommend it to their family and friends.

CPPI recommends searching only certified websites for prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies. Click here, for more information on how to find trusted online Canadian pharmacies.


Survey Methodology:

CPPI conducted this online survey between October 15, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Based on the universe of followers of CPPI, this sample of 1,079 responses represents statistically significant findings with a standard sampling error of plus or minus 5%.

About the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation

The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) is a national nonprofit patient advocacy organization that fights for Americans’ access to safe, affordable prescription medications from Canada for personal use. Tens of millions of Americans – especially the elderly and others on fixed incomes – struggle to pay the extremely high price of prescription medications in the U.S. We are here to be their voice.

Thousands of Americans use licensed Canadian pharmacies annually, to purchase their daily prescription medications at an affordable price. We believe that all Americans have a right to affordable medications. It is time to change the current U.S. policy on this issue to provide immediate access to life-saving medications, taken daily for chronic health conditions, at affordable prices.

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