Monday, September 15, 2003

From the New York Times:
Illinois Considers Buying Drugs in Canada
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois is considering whether his state should begin buying prescription drugs from Canada for its employees, a decision that he says could save tens of millions of dollars, but could also put him at odds with the Food and Drug Administration over the issue.

"It doesn't matter where you go in our state, you meet people who are struggling with the cost of prescription drugs," Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, said in an interview this afternoon. "If you can buy the same drug made by the same company, and it is safe and it costs less, then that makes sense."

From the Columbus (GA) Ledger Enquirer:
Illinois Governor's Drug Plan Finds Foes
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan to explore buying state employees' prescription drugs in Canada was met with opposition Monday as critics said such a move would be illegal and harmful to patients and businesses alike.

"It's not a long-term solution," said Michael Polzin, a spokesman for Illinois-based drugstore chain Walgreen Co. "I think the efforts would be better put toward finding a permanent solution rather than a quick fix that is illegal."

From CBC News:
Illinois defies U.S. government warning on buying Canadian drugs
The U.S. rebellion against high-cost drugs and federal regulators just got a lot louder with word Illinois may allow state employees and retirees to buy cheaper medications from Canada.

"Anything we can do that safely and effectively reduces those costs is definitely worth looking into," said Gov. Rod Blagojevich, adding Illinois stands to save tens of millions of dollars a year. Activists, elated by Blagojevich's plans to explore potential savings, said Monday he's calling the bluff of U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials who have recently warned local governments importing Canadian prescription drugs is illegal and unsafe.

From WISH-TV (IN):
Burton to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Prescription Drugs
Hoosier senior citizens say they are fed up with the high cost of prescription drugs. "They're cheaper every place else. They're cheaper in Mexico. They're cheaper in Canada. Why do we have to carry the burden here where our poor seniors who do live on fixed income have to pay outrageous prices for these drugs and have to go without a decent way to live?" asked Sue Connor, a Kokomo resident.

Dozens of Eli Lilly workers also attended Burton's meeting. They charged that Burton's plan to ease the burden of pharmaceuticals on consumers would cost them their jobs. "I want the pharmaceutical companies to do well. I want them to succeed. But I don't believe Americans should bear all the costs of research and development and the advertising and everything else," said Burton.

From WTHR (IN):
Seniors, Lilly employees at odds
Dick Egan is an Indianapolis senior spending nearly $5,000 a year in prescription drugs. For instance, he needs an inhaler. "I have emphysema and I have to have this four times a day."

Dick says he can save $2,000 a year buying drugs in Canada. "This doesn't seem right that I pay $51 in the United States and $41 in Canada for three."

From WILX-TV (MI):
New "Drug" Store Opens in Lansing
The American Drug Club, a Canadian company, opened its doors in Lansing Monday. The store connects patients with low-cost prescriptions from Canada. Owners say the savings range from 30 to 80 percent and they're targeting those who often have difficulty affording prescriptions, the elderly, the un-and under-insured.

Patients who want their prescriptions filled need to bring their prescription to the American Drug Club office, fill out a health history, and the drugs will be mailed to their homes in two to four weeks. The store does not keep any drugs on hand, and is not a licensed pharmacy.

From WMTW (ME):
Drug-cost coalition formed
A three-way coalition has been formed to push for the importation of prescription drugs so more Mainers can afford them.

The Maine Council of Senior Citizens is teaming up with the Penobscot Indian Nation and Maine AFL-CIO. The coalition was announced Monday morning in Augusta.

From WBBM (IL):
Pharmaceutical Industry Concerned By Possible Drugs-From-Canada For State Workers
Members of the pharmaceutical industry say they're concerned that Governor Blagojevich is considering the importation of prescription drugs from Canada.

Illinois Moves to Buy Canadian Drugs
Illinois' Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich is considering allowing up to 240,000 state employees to buy cheaper drugs from Canada, putting him at odds with the Bush Administration, which is trying to stem the growing practice, the Washington Post reports Monday.

From the Washington Times:
Illinois studying importing Canadian drugs
Illinois is joining other states and municipalities in studying whether to import Canadian prescriptions to save taxpayer money.

No comments: