Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Do no harm: repeal laws that keep patients from the medicine they need

    Until the practice was outlawed, senior citizens by the busload crossed the border from Maine into Canada to fill their prescriptions. There, they paid a fraction of what they would have paid at home.

    Canadian online pharmacies still provide an option for Americans who want to save money, but importing prescription drugs is now against the law. This is not a matter of importing in quantity for resale. Simply filling a personal prescription from a pharmacy outside the U.S. is illegal.

    This law forces all of us to pay a huge premium that benefits the pharmaceutical industry while threatening the health of American citizens.

    A few examples:

    Prozac at Canada Prescription Plus costs $0.46 per pill. At a local Walgreens, Prozac costs $11.72 per pill.

    Aripiprazole is the generic form of Abilify, the most easily tolerated antipsychotic drug developed so far. It sells for $0.26 per pill through CanadaDrugStop. At CVS in Berkeley it sells for $26.33 per pill.

    Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can cause blindness and brain damage. The cost per pill is $1.09 through Canada Pharmacy Online. At Walgreens in Berkeley, it’s $815.69 per pill.

    Many Americans cannot afford to pay for the medicines they need. Some must choose between paying rent and filling their prescriptions. Some take drugs meant for dogs and cats.

    Most often people living on the financial edge simply do without. And these days more Americans are living there.

    The FDA argues that this law protects Americans against the dangers of inferior drugs imported from Canada. But Canada is not a backward country that suffers from poor product regulation. There is no record of an American suffering from the ill effects of a Canadian drug.

    This law is not designed to protect us. It protects the drug industry, which reaps obscene profits in this country. It’s time to repeal this law. It’s time for American citizens to join the rest of the world and enjoy the benefits of the free market.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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