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2017 Prescription Drug Cost Savings

Average percentage saved outside the U.S. for select prescriptions.

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Global Average

Source | IHS Markit POLI

Drug Spending Infographic

How Much Would You Save on Prescriptions Abroad?

Select a drug to see how its price compares in other countries.


High Blood Pressure

Drug Company

Daichi Sankyo

Dataset Based On

2Q 2017 Report

  • U.S.
  • Canada
  • U.K., AUS, NZ
  • India
  • Turkey

Sources | Prices were recorded between August and September 2017 and May and June 2017. U.S. prices shown are retail cash prices listed on All other prices are from verified online pharmacies and their price comparisons on Canadian prices are in U.S. dollars and come from 2Q | 3Q

* indicates price per three inhalers

Do's and Don'ts of Online Pharmacies

The FDA recommends the following if you choose to buy medication online.

Avoid pharmacies that:

  • Allow you to buy drugs without a prescription or by completing an online questionnaire
  • Offer discounts or cheap prices that seem too good to be true
  • Send unsolicited email or other spam offering cheap medicine
  • Ship prescription drugs worldwide
  • State that the drugs will be shipped from a foreign country
  • Are located outside of the U.S.
  • Are not licensed by a state board of pharmacy in the U.S. (or equivalent state health authority)

Look for pharmacies that:

  • Require a valid prescription
  • Provide a physical address in the U.S.
  • Are licensed by the state board of pharmacy in your state and the state where the pharmacy is operating
  • Have a state-licensed pharmacist to answer your questions
Bob Casey Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

“This is common-sense legislation that will allow middle class families and seniors access to safe, affordable prescription drugs through importation. No family should lack access to prescription drugs simply because of the cost; this legislation will increase competition and help more patients access life-saving drugs.”

Bernie Sanders Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

“I am very proud to join with Sens. Booker and Casey and Reps. Cummings and Doggett and many, many others in the Senate and the House to introduce this critical legislation to lower the outrageous cost of prescription drugs. I say to President Trump: Talk is cheap. If you really have the guts to take on the pharmaceutical industry, tell your Republican friends in the House and the Senate to pass this legislation. Do it tonight in your address to Congress. Or admit to the American people that you were lying to them during the campaign.”

Elijah Cummings Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.)

“After he was elected, President Trump said he would bring down drug prices. He also warned that the pharmaceutical industry is ‘getting away with murder,’ and he was absolutely right. So, if the President really means what he says, he will support our efforts, and he will encourage his Republican colleagues to do the same.”

Cory Booker Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)

“Life-saving medications will only save lives if people can afford them. Our common-sense legislation is a step forward, allowing for the importation of prescription drugs under a set of strong and effective standards necessary to ensure consumer safety. Since my days as Newark's mayor, I’ve been working to find ways to help more people afford prescription drugs, and this bill will do just that.”

Lloyd Doggett Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)

“Prescription price gouging threatens both the health and financial security of too many Americans – overpricing is not limited to one pharmaceutical manufacturer, one CEO, or one class of drugs. It extends throughout an industry that regularly demands all that a sick or dying patient will pay to recover or just to survive a little longer. From EpiPens to insulin, from cancer to hepatitis C, families and taxpayers bear the burden of others’ greed. Today, we say, Mr. President, 'We are calling you out: stand by your campaign promise.' Act now against price gouging. Restoring some competition by allowing Americans to import more affordable drugs that meet safety standards is one step toward progress.”

Martin Heinrich Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)

“Americans have the safest prescription drug supply in the world, but struggle to afford the exorbitant cost. Consumers should not have to choose between prescription drug safety and affordability. This bill is designed to address this disconnect and ensure that Americans can access safe and affordable medication.”

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Take Action Today

Sign Prescription Justice’s joint letter to tell Congress to allow importation of lower cost medications from Canada and, after two years, other countries with strong pharmaceutical regulations.

Sign the Letter to Congress

*Prescription Justice is a 501c4 non-profit organization that brings together doctors, lawyers, public health advocates and companies dedicated to lowering drug prices in the U.S.

Emily Miller
Written By Emily Miller Managing Editor

Emily Miller is an award-winning journalist with 7 years of professional experience writing and editing content for reputable media organizations across the U.S. She also has 13 years of personal experience as a patient living with Crohn’s disease. Her coverage of U.S. prescription drug prices for Drugwatch has been published or cited by news outlets, including The Hill, Fox Business and United Press International. Some of her qualifications include:

  • Society of Professional Journalists and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • 2016 Florida Society of News Editors third place winner in Breaking News
Edited By

10 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  1. Bluth, R. (2016, December 17). Looking for Bargains, Many Americans Buy Medicines Abroad. Retrieved from
  2. Cohen, R. & Villarroel, M. (2015, January). Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs: United States, 2013. Retrieved from
  3. Galewitz, P. (2017, December 5). Cities, counties and schools sidestep FDA foreign drug crackdown, saving millions. Retrieved from
  4. IHS Markit. (n.d.). US drug prices versus other developed countries: Risk of aligning prices across markets. [Press Release]
  5. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017) Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative. Retrieved from
  6. OECD. (n.d.). Pharmaceutical Spending Total, US dollars/capita, 2014. Retrieved from
  7. (2017, August 3). 70% of Popular Brand Name Drugs Sold in U.S. Pharmacies Are Imported; Cost Up to 87% Less in Canada. [Press Release] Retrieved from
  8. (2017, February 28). Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act Introduced to Help Lower Skyrocketing Cost of Medicine. [Press Release] Retrieved from
  9. S. S. 2157, Drug-Price Transparency in Communications Act Cong. (2017). Retrieved from
  10. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2016, November). Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Retrieved from
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