Friday, September 19, 2003

From the Stamford (CT) Advocate:
Congress members back cities buying drugs from Canada
A bipartisan group of U.S. House members said Wednesday that it is building momentum to pass legislation allowing the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and other lawmakers also denounced the federal government's effort to shut down the Canadian company supplying drugs to city workers in Springfield, Mass., flatly discounting claims that the drugs are not safe.

FDA Widens Crackdown on Imported Drugs
Broadening its crackdown on imported prescription medications, the U.S. government is threatening to shut down a company that sells Canadian drugs to public employees in Springfield, Mass.

In a warning letter to CanaRx Services Inc., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the company illegally sells medications through the Internet and mail. These prescriptions, the FDA said, endanger Americans, and CanaRX has made "misleading assurances to consumers about the safety of its drugs."

Illinois said earlier this week that it was looking into buying less costly Canadian prescriptions for state employees and retirees. Maine and Vermont have also recently expressed interest in drug reimportation.

"If the federal government is not able to correct serious drug price disparities between the U.S. and rest of the world, then it should give states the flexibility to pursue better prices on their own," said Blagojevich at a press conference in Chicago. "However, the FDA to date has refused to permit state and local governments to import prescription drugs from Canada."

From the Marco Island (FL) Sun Times:
Rx of Canada helps Islanders get cheaper prescriptions
The good news for Marco Islanders is that you don't have to purchase your Canadian drugs through the Internet anymore. You can now purchase them through Rx of Canada located at 987 N. Collier Blvd. on the second floor above Andre's Steakhouse.

Sue Fabry, manager and wife of owner Dennis Fabry, said their focus is to promote quality healthcare by providing access to prescription medications for personal use from Canadian pharmacies. "When using this service, customers will receive the deepest discounts available on all brand name and generic prescriptions and save quite a bit of money," said Sue. "There is no charge for belonging to Rx of Canada. It's a free community service," she continued.

From the Bangor (ME) Daily News:
Canada Scheming (editorial)
The drug industry has fought so hard against changes to the country's obviously broken prescription drug pricing system that cities, states and tribes have been forced to turn to what may sound like bizarre schemes to rein in the rising costs of drugs. That the city of Springfield, Mass., the state of Illinois and the Penobscot Nation are considering buying drugs from Canada because the same drugs are much cheaper there is clear evidence that the current system, in which American consumers pay the highest prices for prescription drugs of any Western country, is in dire need of reform. Rather than attacking such "schemes," the industry should encourage lawmakers to devote their energy to developing a meaningful, comprehensive plan to lower the cost of prescription medications for all Americans.

Instead, when a state such as Maine tries to ease this burden by having prices reflect what would be considered normal in many countries, as it did with Maine Rx, the drug lobby immediately calls in its lawyers and sues. And, year after year, it persuades Congress that it is necessary for Americans to subsidize the world's prescription drug use or risk losing essential research, an argument made silly by the industry's lavish budgets for doctor freebies, artsy commercials and enormous dividends.

From the Ottawa Citizen:
New drug on the block set to give Viagra a run for its money
Viagra is no longer the only kid on the block.

Drug giant Eli Lilly announced Thursday it has received Health Canada approval to market its erectile dysfunction drug, Cialis (pronounced see-AL-iss) in this country. "One of the most common benefits reported to me by my ED (erectile dysfunction) patients in the Cialis clinical trials was that it can allow intimate sexual activity at various time points, for up to 36 hours," said Dr. Gerald Brock, a urologist with St. Joseph's Health Care in London, Ont.

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