Lawmakers battled over prescription drugs on Capitol Hill Tuesday. One state lawmaker was fighting to give seniors a major price break, but drug companies countered with strong opposition.
State lawmakers examined a new way for Tennesseans to legally buy drugs from other countries, mainly Canada. The savings are amazing.
Senator Doug Jackson wants Tennesseans to be able to legally buy discount drugs from other countries, via the I-SAVE RX program.
"Fax your doctor's prescription to the pharmacy benefit manager in Canada, and some days later your medicine will arrive," Senator Doug Jackson (D-Dickson) said.
Some estimates said that Americans pay 200 to 300 percent more for drugs than other industrialized nations.
"Basically all the industrialized nations of the world are paying so much less for their medicines," Jackson said.
Margie Glazner discovered savings of up to 70 to 80 percent on some drugs, simply by buying them from Canada.
"There would be a substantial savings," Glazner said. "The savings, including shipping, would be 57 percent."
Jackson believed money was the main reason for the price differential between medications.
"There's 300 million people in the U.S., and yet they make 50 percent of their considerable profits from the pocketbooks of Americans. That's outrageous," Jackson said.
Folks in five states can buy drugs through the I-SAVE RX program. Jean Stowell, who's always looking for a bargain, wished her mom had access to the program.
"She can't afford drugs, sometimes she goes without her meds," Stowell said.
The drug companies don't like the idea of this bill one bit. They questioned the safety of mail order drugs. The Senate Committee approved that bill Tuesday, and it will move to another committee for debate.
Jackson believed the I-SAVE RX program would help those without insurance, and the chronically ill.