Monday, August 04, 2003

From WDIV-TV (MI):
Livonia Drug Club Could Be Courting FDA Problems
Detroiters who have been taking the bus to Canada to get a break on the high cost of their prescriptions will now only have to travel to Six Mile and Middlebelt in Livonia for those same low prices. They can reportedly save as much as 90 percent compared to the price of similar drugs sold in the United States.

From the Contra Costa (CA) Times:
House drug-import proposal not likely to survive Senate
Health-policy watchers say the proposal, which passed 243-186 last month over the House leadership's opposition, is unlikely to survive a House-Senate conference and become law.

Robert Hayes, the president of the Medicare Rights Center, a patients' advocacy group in New York, doesn't think the dangers (of reimportation) are real.

"At worst, you have a remote speculative danger when you reimport," he said. "On the other hand, every day there is a clear and present danger for people who don't take their prescribed drugs because they can't afford them."

From the Boston Globe:
Canada drug prices a lure
A group of Massachusetts lawmakers, eager to deliver cheaper prescription drugs to senior citizens, wants the state to help them shop around for the best bargains -- in Canada.

The lawmakers are looking to make the Bay State the first in the nation to publicize prices available in Canada, and to help consumers order drugs from retailers there. Any resident would be able to contact a state office by telephone or the Internet to find out how and where they can save the most money on medications, under legislation the lawmakers are crafting.

From the Detroit News:
Cheaper drugs hit state
An unassuming storefront will open Monday as a spot for consumers to buy prescription drugs at Canadian prices, which can be as much as 40 percent to 90 percent cheaper than the same or similar drugs sold in the United States.

But the federal Food and Drug Administration warns that the store is illegal because federal law does not allow U.S. importation of drugs to individuals.

From the Hilton Head (SC) Island Packet:
Business helps skirt drug prices
McDaniel said she'll stay at it as long as she can. There are plenty of people on fixed incomes who can't afford the ever-rising cost of drugs.

"Until they come in and padlock the door, we feel we're providing a service," she said.

Even if she is shut down, McDaniel said she has already served a greater good by making people aware of the issue.

"I feel really good about what I'm doing," McDaniel said. "I don't lose one minute of sleep about it. I really don't."

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Bogus drugs a growing threat
This article discusses the chain of supply for medications, from manufacturer to wholesaler to pharmacy. Counterfeit medications often enter the system through small wholesalers and repackagers. There are only a few large wholesalers in Canada and there are no repackagers at all.

"Nevada declared open season on unscrupulous brokers and wholesalers. It weeded out businesses working out of rented trucks, rental storage units, and other suspect sites, including one that would accept deliveries at a pizza parlor located in the same strip mall. "

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
State questions drug program
The Ohio Attorney General's Office says Butler County has ventured into a legally questionable area by promoting a Canadian prescription drug discount program.

The county contracted with a private company, Prescription Relief in Marion, Ohio, to provide a program that will give low-income people who are not on Medicaid access to prescription drugs at a small charge.

The county also is promoting in its pamphlets and Web site three other programs offered by the company. One of them is the Canadian discount drug program.

From the Montreal Gazette:
MD faces hearing over Net business
A South Shore physician has become the first Quebec doctor to face a disciplinary hearing for taking part in an Internet pharmacy business.

From the Berkshire (MA) Eagle:
City eyeing Canada drug plan
Yesterday, Pittsfield City Councilor at large Peter G. Arlos called for Pittsfield to mimic the move, which has also garnered interest from representatives on the city's Health Insurance Advisory Board.

Arlos said the city may be able to save as much as 80 percent on some drugs that its employees use, which would provide relief to the city's health insurance budget, which this year cost Pittsfield $12.7 million and is expected to increase next year.

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