Our Community Speaks Out

We asked and you answered! Check out these highlighted responses to our monthly question. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please visit the home page for this month’s question and email us your response. You can follow our Facebook page as well, which is where we post each month’s question.

Question: Do you think healthcare providers should tell patients who can’t afford their medications about accessing safe and affordable medications through licensed, legitimate online pharmacies in Canada?

Responses: …”there is no reason why we as Americans should have to go without meds because they are too expensive and insurance companies don’t want to pay. [An online pharmacy in] Canada has been a blessing to me and I refer as many people as I can. They save me so much money but not only that if it was not for them I would not be able to take the meds [that are] too expensive in [the] USA.” – Rachel

“If the pharmaceutical companies are allowed to keep their prices high it’s only because somebody is letting them! Who do you think that is? I believe it is somebody who is making as much money by the prices staying high as the big pharma companies. If this hits home then guess where that puts you. Certainly, the big pharma companies don’t want their customers going elsewhere!  Who is helping them try to prevent this? Fed up with professional politicians.” – Gary

“Yes, I believe that health care providers can let a patient know of other options where [they can] get their prescriptions filled. My dermatologist suggested a pharmacy in Canada and that is where I started getting a cream medication I need.  My out of pocket cost, after insurance was well over $1,000 and after going through the Canadian pharmacy, it’s $77.  Otherwise, I would not be using the med… I’ve heard so many stories that people who can’t afford [their] meds just opt to not use them. There is no alternative.” – Judy

“If I could not get my medication through [an online pharmacy in Canada] I would have to do without my medication… I pay less than $60 for this medication through the online pharmacy. That same quantity of medication at a US pharmacy costs over $500. There is no generic available either. I believe doctors should tell patients about this option. The medication I receive looks exactly like what I had been buying at a local pharmacy. I believe the pharmaceutical companies are overcharging for medications.” – Michelle

“I could not afford Xarelto in the US.  I failed to sign up for Medicare D when I turned 65, and it is too expensive to sign up now at age 86. A cardiologist gave me the name of a drug company in Canada.  Otherwise, I have no idea what I would do.” – Willa

“Of course, because I am on Medicare I pay for drug coverage so that I won’t get penalized for not having drug coverage. Yet no drug insurance will cover my drug, budesonide ($1,400).  I have to get it from a Canadian source ($270). Doctors should be allowed and we should not have a law that penalizes you if you don’t get drug coverage.  I have to pay $10 a month more for the rest of my life because I didn’t have coverage for the first three years I went on Medicare.  That is extortion.” – Diane

“A doctor I saw in the past recommended Canada for drugs because of the high cost of what I had to take.  What great information!” – Edward

“Absolutely we should be able to use the same Canadian pharmacies that Canadians use. My husband and I are currently using [an online pharmacy in Canada] for [several medications]. My husband recently discontinued [his medication that cost] $40,000 a month. We are on Medicare, social security, and our retirement income. If we had to pay for his shots out of pocket, our entire retirement would be gone in three years! That’s 50 years of working and saving that would be eaten up in three years just for one medication, of the many meds my husband takes… I believe that the salaries of every single drug company CEO should be made public and that they should be subject to public shaming.” – Jenny

“Support for free trade and price competition are a fundamental American value and should be supported by the U.S. Congress and states. If local or foreign companies can’t compete they need to switch to doing or selling something else. Protecting business at the expense of taxpayers because of business campaign contributions should be a criminal offence.” – Ananda

Question: Do you think former Big Pharma executives who have raised prescription drug prices dramatically should be allowed to run for public office or hold high-level positions in the Administration?

Responses: “Of course, they should be allowed to run for office. Every American has that right. Their background should be exploited by their opponent though.” – Dan

“The qualifications required to run for office are stated in the constitution. It’s really up to the voters to decide if an executive from drug companies is who they want representing them.” – Al

“These Big Pharma/Mega Insurance and aspiring execs and Super Distributors/Retailers must be required to proffer FULL PROFESSIONAL DISCLOSURE when filing to run for any Public Office. (i.e., Trump’s Tax Returns).  It is un-American to prevent them from running unless they are convicted felons (most of them should be). These are unconscionable people and do not belong in policy making decisions at any government level. If ever elected they should never be allowed to serve  on any government committee involved with any of these issues.” – Allan

“I don’t like the idea of these executives in government positions, but care needs to be exercised in electing any candidate. I am totally opposed to former members of Congress becoming A PAC.” – Alan

“I do not believe a former executive from a pharmaceutical company should be allowed to run for office.  Price gouging people who need their medication is horribly wrong.” – Suzanne

Question: Should pricing information be included in ads for prescription drugs and if so, do you think it would have any effect on the high price of drugs?

Responses: “I think it is criminal that drug companies advertise drugs in the media. If the drug is prescription only it should be the doctor’s decision, not the patient. Also, drug company representatives coming to the doctor’s office with gifts in hand is bribery. The drug reps cut in front of patients with appointments. I have to sit an extra hour or two because of them. Thanks for listening.” – Dan, via email

“It would be really good if the Big Pharma Companies had to list prices in the US and prices in several other parts of the world.” – Susan

“Yes, I do feel that adding the cost of prescriptions in advertisements would be very helpful to purchasers.” – Betty

Question: Do you think elected officials and people who run for office should accept campaign contributions from Big Pharma?

Responses: “Realistically speaking, in spite of the fact that I don’t like so much of the lobbying that goes on with politicians and special interest groups, I don’t think you will ever see a total halt of this practice.  Rather we should focus on the amount of money, gifts, promises, etc. they are allowed to give to politicians.  Politicians should NOT be able to work for any company that lobbies politicians or donated anything for at least five years after they have left their office.” – Terese

“…no one should be discriminated against because of who he/she is or what positions they have held. When hiring, disqualifications should only be based on things those folks have done, pretty much a “probable cause” scenario. Big Pharma execs have produced and delivered, and continue to produce and deliver new and innovative and old, tried and tested drugs to those who need them. Maybe we need more of them in government so government delivers more! Let’s work on influencing members of Congress and state governments and convince them to do the right thing, instead of spending time chasing red herrings.” – John

“If an individual worked for Big Pharma OR more importantly owns all or part of a pharmaceutical company, that individual should never be in a position to vote on anything that affects the drug industry, period! They should be required to disclose this information and recuse themselves from the vote, just like lawyers and judges do in a court case.” – Marge

“I think it’s a disgrace for officials in office and those running for office, to take donations from pharma, because we all know this put them in the back pockets of pharma. Drug prices in this country are ridiculously high and out of reach for a retired person like myself. Shame I’m forced to buy my prescription drugs from Canada. There’s no shame or remorse, just greed with politicians.” – Clarence

“I do not believe that any candidate for office should be allowed to accept campaign contributions from any corporation, not just Big Pharma. We need federal financing of all national elections with NO other money allowed, including that of the candidate.  It is the only way to make the government responsive to the needs of the people, not the special interests.” – Kathleen

“Campaign donations? Of course it shouldn’t be permissible. However, until we get public funding of much shorter campaigns, it will continue. Public funding? Let’s see, who could make that possible? Think they ever will?” – Robert

“Do I think elected officials and people who run for office should be allowed to accept campaign contributions from Big Pharma? With election season quickly upon us, MY RESPONSE IS “NO!” – Chuck

“Drug companies are taking us for a ride, and our government is letting them. They know we have to have their products. So, they are inflating the prices to line their pockets with our pain and suffering. And what really saddens me is that our Government is taking the drug lobbyists’ handouts and throwing American citizens to the dogs. This is unacceptable and it needs to change. NOW.” –Beth

Question: Do you think there should be limits on how much pharmaceutical companies spend on lobbying members of Congress?

Responses: “Yes, there should be limits and very strict ones. The drug industry has gotten completely out of hand and it is hurting hard working Americans.” – Sharon

“There should be a limit on what Big Pharma companies give to Congress. That limit should be set to 0$!! Lobbying is conveniently construed by our Congress as a legal way of donating in order to “buy” political influence against the will of the American people. Lobbying should be banned.” – JS

“I believe it’s a travesty how much money is spent by big pharmaceutical companies in an effort to lobby Congress to stop the American people from getting affordable drugs for their well-being.  It’s a sad commentary on the state of America when a big corporation can basically pay off politicians to one end and that is to make each American pay 10 times the cost of other countries for the very lifeblood of medications each American needs (some of which battle life threatening illnesses). It makes you wonder if any of these Congress members have a conscience or elderly relatives which are being financially ruined by the high cost of medications in the United States. These corporations obviously have no heart or conscience but we vote in these Congress people to have just that and protect the American people and not protect multi-billion dollar companies.  It makes me sick to think of this corruption happening on a daily basis.” – Nick

Question: Do you think it’s fair that Americans pay for government-funded research and development and then pay exorbitantly high prices set by pharmaceutical companies when these drugs are approved and hit the market?

Responses: “It should be illegal for the companies to pedal their very high priced and sometimes deadly drugs on TV at our expense in the paying of the meds to pay for their outlandish ads and push their unsafe and not tested enough drugs on us to buy and test them ourselves, sometimes costing our lives… I doubt I will live long enough to see drugs across the counter as they should be, but I pray that it will come to pass in America.”  – Grace

Question: Do you think that former Big Pharma executives who were responsible for raising prescription drug prices should be able to hold leadership positions within the federal government?

Responses: “No, I don’t think the wolves should be looking after the [welfare of the sheep.” – Mel

“I do not think that Big Pharma executives should be able to hold leadership positions within the federal government whether they were responsible for raising prescription drug prices or not as I can see little role for them to play in Federal government other than perhaps as advisors. Our current administration continues to repeatedly prove, by hiring self-serving monied individuals from the business community, that these types of individuals simply bring no skills to the table that will improve the everyday lives and what we might call outcomes ‘for the people’ and isn’t that what our government is supposed to be doing?” – Judith

“In answer to your question, ABSOLUTELY NOT!  They should be in jail for what they have done to the American people-willingly and knowingly depriving many in need of their medications.  My sister is one of those.  She can choose to eat and have electricity or her drugs.  Being a stroke and heart attack victim, without drugs is not a choice she should have to even consider.  As taxpayers, we take care of EVERYONE else, even those who haven’t paid in to the tax system and some who aren’t even American citizens, yet we can’t even take care of our own! This is a shame, disgrace and a sin!” – Sheila

“Today drug prices are out of control with no end in sight. We need regulation and an end to kick-backs.” – Ann

“Interesting question. I don’t know if I would disqualify a person who acted responsibly and raised prices to cover increased costs as opposed to someone who did so simply because they can and only for personal enrichment. It seems to me that you have to look at the whole picture.” – Al