Monday, September 29, 2003

From the Boston Globe:
Springfield mayor urges fiscal strike at drug companies
Mayor Michael Albano plans to ask the Springfield Retirement Board as early as tomorrow to sell all the city pension investments in drug stocks, representing about $6 million, or 2.6 percent of the $223 million fund. The action is justified, Albano said, by the behavior of US drug companies, which he accused of manipulating markets to protect high prices in the United States.

From News 24 Houston:
High prescription costs have Americans looking north
At times it looks like the average American pharmacy, but it isn't. The prescription drugs sold are Canadian.

From the Northwest (IL) Herald:
Franks files new drug bill
State Rep. Jack Franks wants to give residents access to information about purchasing cheaper prescription drugs in Canada and other countries.

Franks, D-Woodstock, filed a bill Friday in the Illinois House of Representatives that would allow state agencies to educate the public on purchasing drugs from foreign countries, particularly Canada. Although federal law prohibits ordering prescription drugs from other countries through the mail or Internet, residents can travel abroad and bring drugs back to the United States.

From the Capital Times (WI):
Editorial: States can cut drug costs
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle should follow the leads of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and begin figuring out how state health programs can cut costs by purchasing drugs from Canada.

From Reuters:
FDA Finds Hundreds of Unapproved Drug Imports
Lawmakers who are working to create a legal system for importing drugs from Canada and some other countries have accused the FDA of exaggerating the safety risk. Some suggest the agency is pushing the agenda of the drug industry, which is vigorously fighting drug importation.

"For more than two months, FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan and his senior leadership have tried to undermine a legislative initiative the American people desperately want and need," Rep. Gil Gutknecht, a Minnesota Republican who wrote a drug-import bill that passed the House in July, said in a statement on Monday.

From the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger:
Counterfeit drug spur calls for a crackdown
More than 900 companies are licensed with the state health department to distribute drugs or other medical items, but the registration process is riddled with holes, interviews with state officials and experts and a review of state documents show.

Companies can pay as little as $200 and check a few boxes on a six-page form to be licensed to distribute drugs that ultimately wind up on pharmacy shelves.

Once a distributor is licensed, it need only pay an annual fee to renew that license. Distributors are not required to disclose if they are selling different products.

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