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Cheap Drugs
Jan 17, 2002

Dear Docs,

Is there any way some one, who can not afford drugs here, can buy drugs from India(CIPLA), or some other country which produce cheap drugs, or where drugs are very cheap?

Response from Ms. Donnelly

Unfortunately, the Indian drug manufacturing firm that you are referring to only offers its substantially lower prices to governments and other large distributing entities that are able to distribute drugs in certain low-income and developing countries. Even if you were to go to India, you would likely find that the cost of the drugs to individuals is still rather high.

The only way we know to get drugs from another country where they might be cheaper is to travel to that country or have someone else travel there, purchase the drugs and bring them back to the US for personal use. If this method is realistic for you, you would want to check with the Food and Drug Administration and find out the regulations around personal importation of medications.

There are also some purchasing groups that go, typically from states in New England or close to the Canadian border, to buy drugs in Canada. You might contact your local AIDS Service Organization and find out if they are aware of other mechanisms for purchasing drugs from other countries.

However, there are often programs available to help you access prescription drugs for HIV disease if you can't afford them. These programs can vary state by state and typically depend on how much money you make as well. Again checking with your local AIDS Service Organization should be helpful in exploring your options. If you have difficulty locating one near you or they are not able to assist you, you can also call the Project Inform hotline at 1-800-822-7422 and the operators should be able to give you information and connect you with local resources.



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