As a nation we have become very dependent if not overly so on prescription medication. Sad but true the facts of this situation has many an individual jumping through hoops trying to figure out how to pay for those drugs and still put food on the table, literally.

A grass roots movement born out of necessity, Americans are turning to our Canadian neighbors to provide those drugs at cheaper prices. Everyone including our governor wants to cash in. A quick peruse on the internet lead me to several Canadian pharmacies that offered some drugs as much as fifty percent less than what they can be purchased here in the US.

The drug companies were quick to retort that drugs purchased in Canadian pharmacies were not the same, possibly inferior to what you would receive from an American based pharmacy. Since those same companies are the ones that are supplying Canada with many of those drugs does that mean they’re selling an inferior product abroad? Some drug companies have chosen to deal with the situation by simply not dealing and withdrawing from the Canadian market.

And why are the Canadians able to purchase their drugs for so much less? Because the market simply won’t bare it, in other words the average Canadian is unwilling to pay it.

Then there’s the R&D (research and development) argument. The drug companies state that without the prices they are charging they simply would not be able to make the drugs of the future. One PMA (pharmaceutical manufacturing association) spokesman stated on Frontline, a PBS documentary that it’s like copying a CD, anyone can do that, but to actually produce the original costs millions. I would agree up to a point.

Aren’t you just a little curious why all of a sudden congress was able to pass some sort or prescription drug act for seniors? The PMA has the largest PAC organization second only to the AMA and the NRA. All those savvy seniors were beginning to poke wholes in those deep pockets by shopping north of the border.

What about the advertising, full color page ads in the New York Times don’t come cheap not to mention the barrage of magazine, TV, e-mail junk and radio time they buy. The PMA says their advertising budget is small compared to R&D. Okay; well everyone has to start somewhere when paring down a budget.

When an individual depends solely on the current system of traditional medicine to care for their health one may eventually fall prey to the dilemma millions of Americans face each day; food or drugs, which do I need the worst today? We need our current system of traditional medicine but in compliment to that system we need to explore ways to keep ourselves more fit, vibrant and healthy.

I’m beginning to thinking there’s a universal message in this drug debacle which goes something like this, quit using so many drugs. On a more practical note, a letter from a reader that appeared in the AARP said he decided to work with his physician to use diet and fish oil to see if he couldn’t lessen his dependency on expensive drugs. Much to the doctor’s surprise he has succeeded in cutting his dosages in half on two of his most expensive medicines. Imagine something that’s actually good for you, and puts money in your pocket instead of the drug companies. My final thought, why use a cannon when a pea shooter would work.

Till next time, Rebecca