Monday, August 04, 2003

From the Ohio News Network:
State Official Objects To County’s Drug Discount Program

A state official is objecting to the portion of Butler County's new prescription drug program that tells people how to get cheap drugs from Canada.

The contract to implement the main part of the program - discount drugs for the poor - went to Patient Assistance Services for $50,000. That company also offers a different program providing discounted medications to all income levels from Canada.

From the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger:
Drug makers weigh quotas to Canadian wholesalers
Drug makers could limit shipments to Canadian wholesalers if Congress makes it easier for Americans to buy cheaper medicines from Canada, according to people whose organizations deal with the pharmaceutical industry.

Their prediction reflects controversial moves made this year by three big drug makers -- GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Wyeth -- to reduce supplies to their wholesalers in Canada.

By doing so, the pharmaceutical industry may find a way to blunt the effects of the so-called reimportation legislation. The measure would allow drugs to be reimported from Canada and other countries at prices well below what they cost in the United States.

From the Boca Raton (FL) News:
Outlet lowers cost of American drugs
As alternative to buying from Canada, new Boca retailer promotes generic prescription drugs it says are less expensive.

From CBC Manitoba:
American companies look north for prescription drugs
Springfield Mayor Michael Albano says the cheaper Canadian drugs will allow his city to save between $4 million and $9 million a year.

"It's a dollar that we can't pass up," says Albano. "The service is the same. The FDA is trying to say that they won't necessarily approve it because there may be safety concerns of doing business with a foreign country. I've been to Canada. I've looked at the process. I've looked at the procurement. It's fine."

From the Queens (NY) Chronicle:
A Conduit To Discount Drugs—FH Business Offers Route Up North To Reduced Rx
“It’s really nice to have a job where you make a living and help people at the same time,” Weissman said. “It doesn’t happen all the time.”

The two entrepreneurs entered into the pharmaceutical business quite inauspiciously. Robinson was visiting his aunt and uncle in Florida and learned that they were saving as much as $5,000 per year by utilizing the services of re-importers, a popular field in the senior-driven state.

Seeing an opportunity for big business and a wide-open marketplace, Robinson and Weissman joined forces to open, what they believe, is the city’s first reimporting business.

From the Redding (CA) Record-Searchlight:
Buying foreign drugs backed
Technically, Weaverville pharmacist Stephen Fisk is skirting the law. But it's a law he wouldn't mind seeing changed.

Fisk, who owns the Trinity Professional Pharmacy, helps about 250 cash-strapped rural residents obtain low-cost prescription medicines from a Canadian distributor.

From the San Fransisco Chronicle:
How to make medicine worse (Editorial)
For many Americans, the bathroom medicine chest is the most expensive place in the house. Open the door, and the shelves are lined with prescription drugs that cost from 30 to 80 percent less in other major countries that control drug prices.

Thrifty souls, mostly seniors with sizable pillboxes, visit Canada and Mexico by the busload to stock up. Although bringing back drugs is illegal, there has never been a major crackdown

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