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How Far Would You Go for Cheaper Drugs?

Thousands of Americans are crossing the border to get the best deal on their prescriptions. Our reporter tags along.

Who Should Pay for Costs of Drug Research? continued...

But the political jockeying over drug prices is not what concerns the bus riders; they're after the drugs they need to live. They know they can get those drugs cheaply in Canada, and they cannot in the United States. As the van makes the long trip back to Vermont, people compare notes on savings. Ramona Christensen saved about $1,600 on 11 prescriptions. Joe Arnell, a former corrections officer who is "almost 65," saved $256 on seven prescriptions, mostly heart medications. Everyone says they would return to Canada if necessary, though Christensen is apprehensive about taking the bus during the icy winter months. Delores Remington, the former newspaper employee, appreciates the bus trip, but is saddened by the need to make the trek.

"We shouldn't have to get on a bus and go to another country to buy the medications we need," she says. "We ought to be able to do that in our own home town."

Curtis Ingham Koren writes for national magazines about health, education, business, and travel from her home in Vermont.

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