Utah Sends Employees To Mexico To Buy Cheaper Prescription Drugs

Mexican Pharmacies Draw Americans Seeking Cheaper Drugs

As the costs of prescription drugs continue to skyrocket, officials in Utah created a new program to help the state save money. The state is paying employees to go to Mexico, where they can buy their prescription medication for a fraction of the cost.

In the first year of the program, ten employees signed up, and the state saved $225,000. The price difference for prescription medication is so significant, the state's insurance provider can cover the cost of airfare and a $500-per-trip bonus and still save money.

One employee, Ann Lovell, told the Associated Press that she loves the program, which saves her thousands of dollars and allows her to afford medication for her rheumatoid arthritis.

"This is the drug that keeps me functioning, working," said Lovell. "I think if I wasn't on this drug ... I'd be on disability rather than living my normal life."

Lovell says that she takes a two-hour flight from Salt Lake City to San Diego every few months, where she meets an escort who takes her across the border to Tijuana. Lovell then goes to a local hospital to have her prescriptions filled and is back home a few hours later.

With the success of the program, officials are looking to expand it and hope to allow employees to go to Canada to buy medication as well.

Photo: Getty Images

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