In the 21st century, one of the biggest daily expenses in North America is medication. Even simple things like off-the-shelf non—prescription medications, aspirin, cold medicine, etc. are considerably expensive for what they are.
Why is this? Yes, things get more expensive over time, and naturally, inflation is a real monster in any economy. However, that doesn’t really account for the ridiculous price of pharmaceuticals or medical assistance. Well, there do exist a host of complex political issues behind some of this, and that’s well beyond the scope of what we want to discuss here. A simple search on Google will provide, believe it or not, unbiased analysis of the political aspect of this issue.
Something we are comfortable discussing is a practical, unavoidable reason why medications are pricey. Most medications are manufactured overseas. This is unavoidable, because that’s where the infrastructure for this is. It would actually cost a lot more to move that manufacturing to local industry, raising the price even higher. The end result, of course, is that this medication is imported. All imported goods have a markup on them. This is the result of overhead as well as the necessary control and regulation to keep it safe. While eliminating this regulation would probably reduce the price, the danger of this is not something that makes it worth it, trust me.
But, you didn’t visit here for a lesson on why this medication is so expensive, did you? No, you want to know some ways to alleviate these expenses. However, to appreciate why the suggestions I’m about to make are worthwhile, you need to understand a little bit about why the medication was pricey in the first place.
Generics for the win!
The easiest of these solutions is to look for generic alternative to the medication you need. While there are exceptions, just about every medication has a generic alternative. It will be significantly cheaper, but it will literally be the same exact medication. The only difference between this and a brand-name will be maybe some minor cosmetic differences and a change in names. Medications have bizarre names in the first place, but generic names tend to be even stranger, and somewhat difficult to pronounce.
Dosages are usually identical, as well.
Canadian pharmacies are much cheaper.
Your other option, which actually works well in conjunction with shopping for generics, is to go through an online Canadian pharmacy. Canadian pharmacies can sell medications much cheaper due to a very different sociopolitical situation with healthcare in said country. Again, were not going to get into that here, but you can actually save a lot more money than a Canadian citizen due to the fact that the cheaper medications are offset by their tax dollars. You’re not part of their tax system, meaning the savings are actually real for you, where there really not that significant for Canadians in the long run.
Is it legal to do all of this?
You’ve undoubtedly seen various as for Canadian pharmacies, targeted at Americans, with slogans like “visit here to get your medications cheaper legally”. Is it actually legal, though? Yes, it’s absolutely legal. In reality, it would be a violation of several agreements for the United States prohibit you from importing medications. As long as it’s an FDA-approved medication, aside from controlled substances complications, you should have no problems whatsoever.
Do expect the price be marked up ever so slightly from face value, though, because just as medications are more expensive in general due to import costs, bringing them across the border will induce taxes and fees as well. Still, if you get generic medications through an online Canadian pharmacy, you could actually pay up to 50% less on some things. Mind blowing, isn’t it?