Prescription Drug Reform

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HCS/440
January 21, 2013
Mark Williams

Prescription Drugs
There are over 2,800 different types of prescription drugs that have been through the FDA approval and are currently being used today by patients for treatment of a variety of illnesses. There are three categories of prescription drugs that are most commonly prescribed, Opioids (pain killers), CNS Depressants, and Stimulants. Prescription drugs are more potent than the drugs that are sold over the counter ("Prescription Drugs", 2008-2009). Some of these drugs can be highly addictive and need to be closely monitored by a physician. Abuse of prescription drugs has increased at staggering rates. According to USA Today in 2011 prescription drugs grossed over 320 billion dollars in sales. With the major contributors being the Elderly and helping save on some of the cost coming from more widespread use of generic prescription use. (“Prescription Drug Spending was flat in 2011,” 2012). The cost of prescription drugs can be scary when paying out of pocket. There are can be times that a particular drug is needed and if it is a newer drug, there isn’t a generic option for the first five years of the drugs inception. Prescription drugs are effective at treating many diseases and prolonging life with certain diseases that at one time was considered a death sentence. Many of these come at a steep price and when unable to afford some the medications it is common for people to travel outside of the country to purchase the drugs that they need. Mexico and Canada are common places people will travel to in order to acquire such drugs. There are busses that take groups across the boarders specifically for these types of purchases. This is a common practice among the elderly and helps make the drugs much more affordable. One concern with purchasing these drugs across the borders is that there is not much regulation and there is a potential to be purchasing drugs that are less potent or even expired. They may not...
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