Back in 2000, when I first moved here, I had some sinus trouble and went to the pharmacy to buy some Claritin. Sure enough they had the same pill I knew from home, but the price was completely different. I don’t remember how much it was exactly, but I do recall that my jaw dropped significantly. How was it possible that the exact same medicine cost so much less here? I wrote it off to some sort of subsidies from the French health care system and let it go at that. Since then, I have noticed that almost any medicine you buy here costs startlingly less than it does in the States. And from what I’ve gathered, drugs are not subsidized here, though I think there may be price caps. It would be one thing if these were French versions made by different companies, but often they are not. They are the same medicines with the same names made by the same company.