The Prices of America's Most Expensive Drugs in Mexico
Strattera, for ADHD: $421 dollars in the United States, $84 dollars in Mexico.
The Ventanas Mexico website runs on a Squarespace platform. Squarespace recently added a feature that enables me to see what queries lead people to my site by keywords. Given I write about dozens of topics related to Mexico, imagine my surprise to see the keywords leading people to my site were Zytiga, Embril, and Humira. The names of expensive drugs.
I felt terrible that I had not delivered on those queries, as I had only posted the U.S. prices of drugs in the context of demonstrating the excesses of the American healthcare system.
Now that I know people are seeking this information out and running into my site, I’ve taken some time to research what the most expensive drugs in the U.S. cost in Mexico, starting with those most commonly used by people over 50 years old. Even if you're not yet in the market for these drugs, I'm sure you'll find the list enlightening.
This information is not available to you in the U.S. without a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The reasons are probably no more nefarious than the Google algorithms behind them.
Google searches (and I would assume other search engines) are location-based. While that’s great when you are looking for a dry cleaner, it’s not so good when you are doing research for information like drug prices in another country.
The best way to access this information is by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to hide your location from search engines. With a VPN you choose what server you want to use. When I had a VPN in Mexico last year, I chose a Denver server to prevent my searches from coming up local and in Spanish.
In this case, to access the information about drug prices in Mexico or another country, you would need to choose a server in the country of choice and do the query in that language. Being in Mexico already, I didn’t need a V.P.N. All I needed to do was ask, “Cuanto cuesta Zytiga en Mexico.” If I were in the States seeking the information, I'd choose a server in Mexico, and do my searches in Spanish just to be sure.
The prices you see in the list below are what the drugs cost from major drug wholesalers in Mexico. The packaging and trademark information is identical (other than being in Spanish).
If the price isn’t listed beside a drug name, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not available. It may be distributed only by hospitals or doctors.
I was surprised how much the U.S. prices have fluctuated since I originally looked them up a year or so ago.
If I've written only "Mexico" beside the drug, it means the price wasn't available in a simple search.
If there is a particular drug you want me to check that is not on this list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do my best.
Drug Count Cost (based on exchange rate of 18 pesos to the dollar)
Actos - a diabetes drug - 30 $254 Mexico: $60 (Zactos)
Advair Diskus - an inhaler $49 Mexico:
Afinitor (cancer treatment) 30 $14,524 Mexico: $3,689
Albuterol Sulfate (asthma) 25 vials $15
Alimta (cancer treatment ) 1 vials 500 mg $3,027 Mexico: $1,018
Amlodipine Besy (blood pressure lowering) 30 $6
Amoxicillin (Antibiotic) 30 $9
Aranesp (builds red blood cells) four syringes $1,569 Mexico: $216
Atorvastatin ca (Cholesterol lowering) 30 $11
Avastin (cancer treatment) per dose $55
Avonex ( multiple sclerosis ) four syringes $6,750 Mexico: $1,367
Azithromycin (brand names include Z-Pak and Zithromax)
6 tablets $9
Benicar HCT (high blood pressure) 30 $187 Mexico:
Betaseron (multiple sclerosis) one kit $6,020 Mexico: $1,532
Bystolic (high blood pressure) 30 $120
Blncyto (cancer) one month $3,878 Mexico:
Celebrex (arthritis) 30 $55
Cialis - ED 30 $138
Cyramza (cancer) one month $13,672 Mexico:
Combivent Respimat inhaler one inhaler $397 Mexico: $32
Copaxone - (multiple sclerosis) 30 syringes $1,953 Mexico: $1,416
Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug 30 $195
Cubicin $473 Mexico: $118
Cymbalta (Clorhidrato de Duloxetina) 28 $90 Mexico: $37
Dexilant (heartburn) 30 $258
Diovan (high blood pressure ) 30 $18
Desmopressin (Minirin) (diabetes) $134 Mexico: $82
Enbrel (arthritis) one carton $2,246 Mexico: $592
Epogen, an injectable anemia drug four vials $148. 00
Erbitux (cancer) per ampula $1,274 Mexico: $424
Evista (osteoporosis) 30 $50
Flomax (tamsulosin) - incontinence one month $15
Flovent HFA - inhaler inhaler $220
Gilenya - multiple sclerosis one month $5,300 Mexico: $3,076
Gleevec (leukemias) 30 $3,600 Mexico: $2,106 (Glivec)
Glucophage (metformin), a diabetes drug 60 $3
Herceptin (breast cancer) a month $4,500 Mexico: $2,445
Humira (Crohn's disease) one carton $3,000 Mexico: $543 dollars
Hycd/apap (Narcotic painkiller) 60 $18
Imdur ( angina ) 30 $15
Hydrochlorothiazide (blood pressure) 30 $5
Hydrocodone/acetaminophen - pain killer 30 $10
Invega Sustenna (schizophrenia) one syringe $2,100 Mexico: $337
Imatitanib mesylate (cancer) (Glivec) $8,800/yr = $488/mo Mexico: $621 for 10 capsules
Janumet (diabetes ) 30 $ 181 Mexico: $23
Jardiance (diabetes) 30 $529 Mexico: $621
Lantus Solostar - diabetes 30 $400 Mexico: $54
Lanoxin (congestive heart failure) 30 $30
Latuda - bipolar disorder 30 $1,389 Mexico:
Levemir - diabetes one carton $417 Mexico: $131
Lenvima - cancer 60 $16,681 Mexico:
Levothyroxine - hypothyroidism 30 $10
Levothyroxine Sod (Hypothyroid) 30 $10
Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug 30 $10
Lisinopril (Blood Pressure lowering) 30 $4
Lucentis - macular degeneration per dose (monthly) $2,000 Mexico: $1,046
Lunesta - sleep disorder 90 $9
Lyrica - epilepsy, diabetes 60
Metformin HCL (Diabetes) 60 $6
Metoprolol - (high blood pressure) 30 $4
Namenda (Alzheimers ) 30 $360 Mexico:
Nasonex (allergies ) 30 $58
Neulasta (anti-infection/cancer ) one syringe $5,000 Mexico: $1,828
Naproxin 30 $80
Neupogen - anti infection/cancer one syringe $350 Mexico: $294
Nexium (heartburn ) 30 $90
Norvasc (amlodipine besylate), an angina/blood pressure drug 30 $6
Novolog Flexpen one carton $310 Mexico: $29
Omeprazole RX ulcer 30 $9
Orencia (rheumatoid arthritis) one injection $1,100 Mexico: $902
Pradaxa (anti-stroke) 60 $426 Mexico: $173
Praluent (cholesterol ) 2 pens $1,120 Mexico: (Repatha) $639
Premarin - one month $151
Prevnar 13 9 (pneumonia) one syringe $170 Mexico:
Procardia 30 $15
Prilosec (omeprazole), an antacid drug 30 $8
Pristiq (depression) 30 $306 Mexico: $45
Procrit - (anemia) per injection $ 800 Mexico:
Remicade (Crohn's disease) three vials $1,300-2,500 Mexico: $777
Renvela (chronic kidney disease) 90 $1,599 Mexico: $259 (Renegel)
Rituxan - (arthritis) two infusions $22,500 Mexico: $2,260 (Rituximab)
Sandostatin LAR acromegaly, carcinoid tumors, and Cushing's syndrome $2,963 Mexico: $230
Sensipar (chronic kidney disease) 30 $850 Mexico (Mimpara?)
Seroquel XR (depression) 30 $15
Simvastatin (Cholesterol/Zocar) 30 $6
Singulair, an oral asthma drug/ Montelukast
Sovaldi - Hep C full 12-week treatment $84,000 Mexico: $908
Spiriva Handihaler emphysema and chronic bronchitis.one inhaler (1 mo) $286 Mexico: $53
Sprycel (cancer) 60 $7,487 Mexico: $3,634
Stelara - (arthritis) $22,000-55,000/yr $2,000-4,000 Mexico: $3,722
Strattera - ADHD 30 $421 Mexico: $84
Symbicort (asthma ) one inhaler $240 Mexico: $48
Synthroid hypothyroidism 30 $40
Synthroid synthetic thyroid hormone 30 $45
Tarceva - (cancer ) one month $2,848 Mexico: 3,037 (surprise!)
Tecfidera (multiple sclerosis ) 60 $5,320 Mexico: $2,458 (56)
Treanda - (lymphoma) one treatment $8,680 Mexico:
Tagrisso (cancer) $12,700/mo
Velcade - (cancer) one month $4,000- $8,000 Mexico: $1,293
Vasotec - (hypertension) 30 $15
Ventolin HFA - asthma one inhaler $60
Vesicare - overactive bladder 30 $366 Mexico: $40 (20)
Victoza 2-Pak (diabetes ) 2 pens $354 Mexico: $140
Vytorin - (cholesterol) 30 $365 Mexico: $56
Welchol - (heart disease and stroke) (colesevalem) 1 month $161 Mexico:
Xarelto (stroke) 30 $446 Mexico: $101
Xeloda (cancer ) 120 $1,900 Mexico: $3,000
Xgeva - (osteoporosis ) one vial $2,323 Mexico: $557
Xolair (asthma) one vial $1,085 Mexico: $499
Zytiga (cancer) 120 Mexico: $3,494
Zocor (cholesterol) 30 $7
Zostavax - shingles one vial $215
Zydelig - (leukemia) 60 $8,900 Mexico:
Zykadia - (cancer) one $11,428 Mexico:
Zytiga (prostate cancer) 120 $10,690 Mexico: $3,612
Zoloft (depression) 30 $11
Mexico has strict laws for the manufacturing of medicines. Mexican drugs are of just a good a quality as the U.S. if using reputable sources.
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About the Author:
Kerry Baker is a partner with Ventanas Mexico, providing resources to potential part-time and full time expats. She has written two books. The first is the "Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online,' a curation of the best free Spanish teaching tools on web, organized into lesson plans with interactive links.
The second book is "If Only I Had a Place," a book on renting luxuriously and for less in Mexico. Avoid the pitfalls and take advantage of the opportunities you have as an expat renting in Mexico. Extablish a holistic system that will enable you to rent well year after year and lay the foundation for the best possible expat existence.