Here’s How Much Cheaper 10 Medicare Drugs Are in Other Countries

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Woman paying pharmacist for prescription medicine with European money in the Euro currency
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In 2023, the U.S. government began a long-awaited process of negotiating prescription drug prices through the Medicare program, starting with a batch of 10 drugs picked from some of the most expensive.

Americans pay significantly more for prescription drugs on average than folks in many other high-income countries, and a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund identifies just how much — often double, triple or more. That’s even after the report took into account any rebates and discounts from full retail price available in the U.S. (resulting in net prices), while full retail prices were used for other countries.

Following is a comparison of American and foreign prices on the drugs for which Medicare is now negotiating with drug manufacturers.

Eliquis

Eliquis prescription drug tablets
Raihana Asral / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $4.11 per tablet

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $2.56 per tablet (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $1.16 per tablet (Australia)

Eliquis is made by Pfizer. It’s a blood thinner used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots. Medicare spent $12.6 billion on this drug in 2021.

Entresto

The Novartis prescription drug Entresto
Halawi / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $9.57 per tablet

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $4.51 per tablet (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $1.25 per tablet (Japan)

Entresto is designed to treat heart failure by fighting the buildup of sodium and preventing blood vessel tightening. It is made by Novartis.

Xarelto

Xarelto prescription drug tablets
Raihana Asral / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $7.87 per tablet

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $12 per tablet (Japan) — the only case in which the U.S. price was lower than another country’s

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $1.99 per tablet (Australia)

Xarelto is used to reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes. It is made by Janssen. Medicare spent $5.2 billion on this drug in 2021.

Januvia

Januvia prescription drug tablets
i viewfinder / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $9.17 per tablet

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $3.33 per tablet (Canada)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: 89 cents per tablet (Germany)

Januvia, which can cost as little as $5 per prescription through private insurance, helps manage blood sugar for type 2 diabetics. It is made by Merck.

Jardiance

Jardiance prescription drug tablets
i viewfinder / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $10.15 per tablet

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $3.17 per tablet (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $1.45 per tablet (France)

Diabetes drug Jardiance is made by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim. Medicare spent $3.7 billion on this drug in 2021 for about 885,000 people.

Farxiga

Farxiga medication
Halawi / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $11.05 per tablet

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $3.05 per tablet (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $1.50 per tablet (Australia)

Known as Farxiga (pronounced “far-see-guh”) in the U.S. and Forxiga in Europe, this medication from AstraZeneca is used for conditions such as chronic kidney disease, heart failure and type 2 diabetes.

Novolog FlexPen

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk
oleschwander / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $19.86 per milliliter

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $5.36 per milliliter (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $2.26 per milliliter (Australia)

NovoLog is one of many insulin injection pens on the market, and comes in a dozen different color patterns. It is made by Novo Nordisk and used to treat diabetes.

Imbruvica

Imbruvica prescription drug tablets
CL Shebley / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $436.54 per pill

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $325.91 per pill (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $89.68 per pill (Australia)

Imbruvica is a cancer treatment drug made by Pharmacyclics and Janssen, pharmaceutical companies owned by AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson, respectively. Medicare spent $3.2 billion on this drug in 2021.

Enbrel

Pharmaceutical company Amgen
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $1,202.17 per milliliter

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $455.92 per milliliter (Switzerland)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $133.62 per milliliter (Japan)

Enbrel is a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis. It is marketed by Amgen.

Stelara

Janssen Pharmaceutical sign from Johnson and Johnson
Konektus Photo / Shutterstock.com

Estimated U.S. net price: $12,946.15 per milliliter

Highest retail price in comparison countries: $9,223.14 per milliliter (Germany)

Lowest retail price in comparison countries: $2,430.60 per milliliter (Australia)

Stelara is used to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It is marketed by Janssen Biotech.

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