DENVER — Gail Devore spends a lot of time shopping on the internet, not from Amazon but from websites welling Canadian drugs, in her case insulin.
“In Canada insulin is about $50 a bottle or less,” said Gail before adding “that same bottle is about $350 dollars cash price” in the United States.
The 58-year old diabetic told the Problem Solvers she doesn’t have a realistic choice, buy from Canada or go broke in America.
“Why do I have to break the law to stay alive? It makes no sense whatsoever,” said Devore.
State Senator Joann Ginal (D) agrees that Colorado diabetics shouldn’t have to sneak their prescription drugs from Canada to be able to afford to stay alive, “If you need a medication you should be able to afford it without having to mortgage the house.”
State Senator Joann Ginal (D)
Now the Fort Collins Democratic lawmaker has sponsored Senate Bill 5, which would allow Colorado pharmacies to import certain medications – not generics – like insulin and cancer fighting drugs from Canada and pass along the savings to consumers.
“When people can’t afford it, they ration or they just don`t take it because they can’t afford it. They die. It’s unacceptable,” said Devour.
Vermont was the first state to pass such a law, though it’s still waiting for approval from the Federal government to implement the measure.
If the Colorado measure passes, it could still take another two years for the Centennial state to win federal permission.
That’s a long wait for someone like Gail Devour, “Out of all the hurdles I’ve faced in my life as a diabetic this is the worst, being able to afford to stay alive.”
Prescription drugs tend to be cheaper in Canada because the government negotiates the prices. In America, pharmaceutical companies generally set their own prices.
The North Metro Chamber of Commerce is holding a debate on Senate Bill 5, Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. in Westminster at 1870 W. 122nd Ave, Suite 300.
Devour tells the Problem Solvers she’ll be debating a representative from Big Pharma.