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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U. S. Overvalues Medical Help

The United States systematically inflates the value of medicines it donates to Russia, according to Project Hope, the humanitarian aid agency that coordinates most American medical aid to Russia.

Exaggerating the market price makes the United States appear a big spender, when in reality almost all the medicines it distributes here are donated from the companies that manufacture them.

For example, on an invoice to Oblast Hospital No. 1 in Yekaterinburg, Project Hope listed the value of an eight-ounce bottle of Maximum Strength Tylenol cough medicine at $5. 99. Yet a typical U. S. discount pharmacy, Phar-Mor, contacted by telephone in Madison, Tennessee, offers the identical product for $3. 45.

Diane Nowak-Waring, Project Hope's director of external communications, said the agency estimates the value of the pharmaceuticals by taking the average wholesale price and adding 30 percent.