Tuesday, October 28, 2003

From Yahoo News:
Americans make long trek to Canada for affordable prescription drugs
It's not your idea of a typical drug run: two dozen pensioners on a coach headed for Canada in search of cholesterol-lowering drugs and blood pressure medication.

But lured by the prospect of big savings on their prescription drug bills, and subsidised by a US senator, 26 pensioners have turned out this day for the two-day, 1,100-mile (1,750 kilometer) roundtrip to the Canadian city of Winnipeg.

From the Alton (IL) Telegraph:
Governor’s plan stirs debate on Canadian drugs
Advocates of a plan by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to let state employees purchase prescription drugs from Canada say the medications are safe, and they hope the effort might help validate that claim.

Daniel Hines, publisher of the TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com Web site, andJeremy Cockerill, a co-owner of Universal Drugstore, a Canadian pharmacy that sells to U.S. customers, visited The Telegraph to talk about the issue Wednesday.

From the Chicago Sun Times:
Gov's study: Rx imports can save $91 mil.
Stepping up his campaign to import cheap prescription drugs from Canada, Gov. Blagojevich today will release a study finding that such imports could save Illinois $91 million per year.

From the Naples (FL) News:
Morton Kondracke: U.S. closer to drug reimportation
Disruptive and possibly dangerous though it may be, it seems inevitable that Congress will pass -- and that President Bush will sign -- legislation to permit mass reimportation of pharmaceuticals from Canada.

Members of the House-Senate conference on Medicare prescription drug legislation, increasingly optimistic that they will produce a bill soon, say importation is all but certain to be a part of their final measure.

Monday, October 27, 2003

From USA Today:
Ill. study finds drug savings
A study by Illinois officials concludes that the state and its taxpayers could save more than $90 million a year without risking patient safety by setting up a program to buy prescription drugs from Canada for state workers and retirees.

From the Washington Post:
Illinois Says Import Drugs Could Save State Millions
The governor of Illinois, intensifying his battle with Bush administration regulators over rising drug bills, will release an analysis today showing that his state could save $91 million a year by buying prescription medications from Canada.

From the Toronto Star:
'Buy Canada' drug plan sweeping U.S.
As he tentatively shuffles to the podium, stooped over his walker for support, 77-year-old Isaac Ben Ezra appears an unlikely revolutionary.

And then he speaks, a baritone rich with passion and anger, defiance and resolve, a voice that is being heard from more and more regions of the United States, and a voice which should be heard loud and clear by U.S. President George W. Bush as he seeks re-election.

From the Sagamore:
Prescription drug prices out of control
Last week, Eli Lilly followed suit with other drug companies such as Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline and signed on to lower the quantity of their shipments to neighboring Canada. The claim is that this has nothing to do with monetary issues, but that Lilly has a genuine interest in the safety of its customers.

From Newsday:
Battle Over Rx Imports
Irving Kaplan heard all the arguments against importing his prescription drugs from Canada -- there might be something wrong with the drugs, or that they might be too potent, or not potent enough, or not the right drug at all. But it was a risk he was willing to take.

From the Belleville (IL) News Democrat:
Senior citizens turn north to save on prescriptions
When 72-year-old Ed Wilson started searching for a cheaper place to find prescription drugs, he didn't turn to another metro-east pharmacy.

From the Lowell (MA) Sun:
From helping dad, woman becomes drug importer
WINCHESTER When Ida Bianco's father needed the pain-killer Vioxx to ease his arthritis, she was appalled to learn it cost $90 for a 30-day supply at the neighborhood pharmacy.

So Bianco, a stay-at-home mother with a degree in accounting and masters in business, searched for a cheaper alternative.

She found it in a Canadian drug store.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Why drug prices are so high
In Canada, the monthly bill for the two drugs would come to about $56. "It's not fair," said McGinnis, 32. "Why do we have to pay so much more than the rest of the world?"

From the Palm Beach (FL) Post:
Florida won't buy Canada drugs
The U.S. Congress, the mayor of New York City and the governors of Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and West Virginia want to buy cheap prescription medicines from Canada to curb soaring drug costs.

The state of Florida, though, has no plans to jump on the bandwagon.

From the Madison (WI) Courier:
Madison business offering drugs from Canada
A national issue has come to Madison with the opening of an office where people can order prescription drugs imported from Canada. The company says people can save up to 85 percent because Canada controls drug prices and because the exchange rate is favorable.

From the Globe and Mail:
Not tonight, dear. I'm on Viagra
Viagra didn't spice up the sex life of Gareth Davies. It just gave him a really bad headache.

Mr. Davies, a manager with an auto-parts firm in Kitchener, Ont., had been left impotent after undergoing surgery to remove his cancerous prostate gland in January, 2000.

Friday, October 24, 2003

From Reuters:
New York mayor says Canadian drugs on 'to-do list'
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday backed the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada, joining other state and local leaders seeking a remedy to soaring U.S. drug prices.

"It is a great idea to use our combined economic power to (buy drugs from Canada) ... It is on our to-do list," Bloomberg told reporters at a briefing in New York.

From the Boston Channel:
Boston Mulls Buying Canadian Drugs
The city of Boston is the latest Bay State community to consider buying prescription drugs from Canada.

NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross reported that Boston city leaders want to know if the drugs can save the city money and if they are safe for employees

From the New Bedford (MA) Standard:
Council urges medicine imports
If the City Council has its way, New Bedford would join a growing list of cities seeking to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada for city employees and retirees.

From MLive.com:
Shop selling drug imports opens in Ypsilanti
A small new shop in Ypsilanti, part of a controversial retail chain, is helping U.S. residents buy prescription drugs from Canada - in violation of a federal law that's not being rigorously enforced.

From the Sacramento (CA) Bee:
Pharmacists urged to fight drug imports
Pharmacists will join forces today with federal officials to try to stop the growing flood of affordable prescription drugs from Canada to California's seniors.

From CanadaEast.com:
Pharmacist stays neutral in cross-border Rx debate
Fred Armstrong is no crusader for the rights of Americans to buy prescription drugs in Canada and he refuses to enter debates over the issue that are raging across the border. But he is, quietly, helping seniors and the uninsured in Maine save millions of dollars by filling their prescriptions, mostly at his St. Andrews pharmacy and some via mail order.

From the Quad City (IA) Times:
FDA’s hollow warnings solve nothing (editorial)
Tough talk from Washington. But here is what is happening in our real world. Both Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are among the leaders of dozens of states eagerly turning to Canadian pharmacies to solve a problem the FDA, drug companies and Congress will not.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Pharmacists oppose drug imports
The California Pharmacists Association chimed in yesterday with its opposition to the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.

The practice has increased significantly in the past year, as growing numbers of people e-mail or fax their prescriptions to pharmacies in Canada and other countries where government price controls keep prices up to 50 percent lower than in the United States.

From UK Comment Wire:
Eli Lilly: a self-defeating strategy?
The issue of parallel trade is likely to become a more significant problem for the industry as EU enlargement approaches. Opportunities to exploit pricing differentials between markets are expected to increase, and companies are going to face increasing pressure to develop more secure strategies against parallel trade that protect both profits and patients. However, while pricing differentials continue to exist, and short of legislative action by governments to prevent it, parallel trade is here to stay. Therefore, the onus is on the industry to push for far greater co-operation with healthcare payers.

From the Edmonton Journal:
Addicts at risk as Ottawa reduces methadone fee
Health Canada's Non Insured Health Benefits Directorate this month announced that it would pay the same fee across the country to pharmacists who dispense methadone to status Indians. In the past, the federal fee varied from province to province.

From the Vancouver Province:
U.S. drug firms are prepared to punish Canada
Canada has to crack down on grey market pharmaceutical drug sales to the U.S. or risk being hit with higher drug prices for Canadians, says a leading economist in a report to be made public today.
From the New York Times:
Cheap Drugs From Canada: Another Political Hot Potato
For years, just about the only Americans regularly buying drugs in Canada were thrifty gray-haired New Englanders. Now, with state budgets squeezed, it is the nation's governors who are demanding access to Canada's cheap drugs. Here in Kentucky, the issue has become central to a tight governor's race.

From the Washington Post:
Canada Is a Discount Pharmacy for Americans
Billy Shawn was never much of a student. He barely survived high school, skipped college and spent most of the next two decades wandering around the globe in search of the perfect wave.

From the Coos Bay (OR) World:
State threatens business that imports Canadian drugs
The state Board of Pharmacy has warned the owners of a business that helps people get lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada that they may be practicing pharmacy without a license and illegally importing drugs.

From the (Portland) Oregonian:
State warns Canada Drug Service it may be doing business illegally
In a letter, Gary Schnabel, the board's executive director, warned Glen and Diane Bremer, who own Canada Drug Service in Tigard, that they may be practicing pharmacy without a license and illegally importing drugs.

From Suffolk (NY) Life Newspapers:
High Prescription Costs Are Tough To Swallow
Seventy-six-year-old Annette Eberle of Ridge is on three different prescriptions and the cost of drugs for her has been astronomical. "It's a hardship," she said. "I mean we haven't had to cut back on eating or anything but we are senior citizens and it's still really hard."

From the Boston Herald:
Cambridge joins drift toward Canadian Rx
Cambridge leaders said yesterday that they are considering buying drugs in Canada, joining a growing list of New England city officials who are looking north to save money.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

From the Ottawa Citizen:
FDA seeks help to enforce drug laws; Health Canada pledges co-operation
U.S. drug regulators said Tuesday they can't do much to compel a Canadian company exporting lower cost prescription drugs to the United States to follow federal drug laws, so they will seek help from the Canadian government.

From the Superior (WI) Daily Telegram:
Pawlenty's plan for prescription drugs should be emulated by neighboring states (editorial)
You have to hand it to Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota: His plan to set up a Web site and a toll free phone number to help residents order prescription drugs from pharmacies in Canada is the most innovative move so far among the states.

From the Wilmington (NC) Star:
Prescription misses the point (editorial)
The N.C. Pharmacy Board’s lawsuit against companies that help Tar Heels buy prescription drugs from Canada seems more likely to protect North Carolina drug stores and North Carolina pharmaceutical manufacturers than North Carolina patients.

From the Center (PA) Daily Times:
Drugs from Canada spark debate, interest across the U.S.
As the price of prescription drugs stirs complaints from consumers across the country, Springfield, a financially strapped city in western Massachusetts, has dramatically cut its health-care costs with a daring end run around high U.S. prices by arranging for city workers to buy lower-cost Canadian medication.

From the Boston Herald:
Events intended to sway on drug imports
Advocates of making it legal to buy cheaper prescription drugs in Canada will square off today against opponents who say it's a risky business that puts consumers in danger.

From WCAX (VT):
Bargains North of the Border
It's no secret: trips to the pharmacy are costing American consumers an arm and a leg. "What we do see is a lot of people asking for price quotes on medication and then some will comment, well I can get it cheaper in Canada," Audrey McGregor said.

From WOOD-TV (MI):
New store promises cheaper prescription drugs
An estimated one million people buy Canadian drugs on the Internet every year. Now they can buy them in person.

The American Drug Club opened on Alpine Avenue Monday morning. Here's how it works. People who have a doctor's prescription come to the store on Alpine and fill out the proper forms. That paperwork is sent to a doctor in Canada.

From the Boston Globe:
Drug imports requested for state workers
Labor leaders representing more than 30,000 Massachusetts state employees have asked the Group Insurance Commission to consider the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, a move the unions said could lower medicine costs to taxpayers as well as to their members.

From the Boston Channel:
Second City Pursues Canadian Drugs For Employees
Cambridge will become the second Massachusetts city to pursue lower-priced Canadian drugs for its employees after the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Monday night.

From the New Orleans Channel:
Another Drug Company Cracks Down On Canadian Sales
Another U.S. pharmaceutical company has decided to limit sales of prescription drugs to Canadian pharmacies.

From the Framingham (MA) Metro West Daily News:
Seniors take drug campaign on the road
Genny Aseltine saves $3,000 a year buying her medications from Canada, and she sees no reason to stop, because in her opinion she is doing nothing wrong.

"I didn't question it or even hesitate," said Aseltine, 77, of Marlborough. "The price was going up monthly. I try to hang onto every cent I can."

From the Champlain (NY) Channel:
Local Pharmacies Fear Canadian Drugs
Hometown pharmacists say that big-name drug stores are not the biggest threat to their survival. The bigger worry is the push to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

Monday, October 20, 2003

From the Indy Channel (IN):
Eli Lilly Fights Drug Sales From Canada
Eli Lilly and Co. has placed controls on its drug sales to Canadian pharmacies, joining other U.S. drug makers that are trying to prevent their medications from being reimported and sold to consumers in the United States.

From the Texarkana (TX) Gazette:
Prescription drugs go on life support
The Texarkana Rx Depot location may have only opened a few months ago, but its life is on the line as the federal government takes aim in the courts.

From the Portland (ME) Press Herald:
Seniors flocking to mail-order medication
Thousands of Mainers are buying cheaper prescription drugs from Canada over the Internet and by mail order, even while federal and state agencies across the country crack down on the practice, calling it illegal and unsafe.

From WOOD-TV (MI):
Canadian prescription drug store opens today in West Michigan
West Michigan residents can order prescription drugs from Canada, starting Monday, without having to cross the border.

The American Drug Club will open a store in Walker. The company has several other locations around the state, including one in Lansing.

Friday, October 17, 2003

From the Canadian Press:
'Net pharmacies pose dilemma for U.S.
The Canadian prescription for brisk drug sales: sell to grateful Americans now paying much higher prices.

Some pharmacists, especially in Manitoba, are making more money than they ever dreamed possible.

From the Winona (MN) Daily News:
Pawlenty releases plan for lower-priced prescription drugs
Saying the federal government has been "asleep at the switch" on the issue of prescription drug costs, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he plans to make Minnesota the first state in the nation to help any of its residents buy lower-priced medications from Canada.

The state plans to create a Web site that lists Canadian pharmacies that meet Minnesota's standards for safety. State officials also will negotiate prices at which approved pharmacies will sell drugs here.

From CNN:
Governments eye Canada for cheap drugs
Despite safety warnings from U.S. agencies, Americans in growing numbers -- and even some governments -- are crossing the border into Canada to buy prescription drugs to save money.

From WFIE (IN):
Support Grows for Legalizing Imported Drugs
Despite the U.S. government's continued crackdown on imported prescription drugs, support for the cross-border trade is rapidly gaining momentum -- much of it from elected officials.

From the Indy Channel:
Board Goes After Store Selling Canadian Drugs
The Indiana State Board of Pharmacy is working with the Indiana Attorney General's office to shut down at least one of the six stores in the state selling Canadian prescription drugs.

From News 14 (NC):
State board challenges pharmacies
The North Carolina Board of Pharmacy has filed a complaint against five companies that send prescription orders to Canada.

From the Boston Channel:
Lawmakers Seeking Ways To Lower Drug Costs
A growing number of state legislators are signing onto a multifaceted prescription drug bill designed to counter the rising cost of medication by negotiating better prices for state clients and employees.

The bill, which seeks to establish a bulk purchasing program and limit the drugs that can be prescribed, has been endorsed by at least 25 of the 40 state senators and 69 of the 160 members of the House of Representatives.

From the Des Moines (IA) Register:
Vilsack urges action to allow Canada drugs
Gov. Tom Vilsack on Wednesday encouraged Iowans to sign an online petition urging Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to legalize the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada.

"It is unconscionable that the same FDA-approved drugs purchased by consumers in Iowa and across the country are available in Canada for up to 50 percent less," Vilsack said. "This situation deserves the immediate attention of Congress and of the FDA."

From KCRG (IA):
Iowans Eyeing Drugs from Canada
One of the largest life expenses for seniors or those of you without insurance is prescription drugs.

But if you compare prices in the U.S. to those in Canada, there's often a savings of up to 75%.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

From the San Jose (CA) Mercury News:
FDA accused of favoring drug industry
Drug industry experts and a bipartisan group of legislators in the House of Representatives are charging that the Food and Drug Administration's campaign against importing prescription drugs is intended more to help the drug industry than to protect public health.

They accuse the FDA of overstating the health hazards of foreign drugs to help the drug industry defeat legislation legalizing the purchase, or "reimportation," of U.S.-made drugs from Canada and 24 other countries where drugs are less expensive than they are in the United States.

From the Christian Science Monitor:
Cheap drug imports - who wins?
Kathryn Stewart sees the impact of high drug prices first hand. Low-income patients frequently get released from her Chicago hospital with a supply of prescription medication that will last only two or three days. And they can't afford to buy more.

So when Americans head to Canada, either in person or via the Internet, to buy lower-cost drugs illegally, she applauds. Claims by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that such drugs are unsafe "has a hollow ring with the American public," says Dr. Stewart, medical director of care management at Mt. Sinai Hospital. It "makes the FDA look like it is just a protectionist arm for the US drug industry."

From the Chelsea (MI) Standard:
Dexter native opens American Drug Club store
If there is one thing that Dexter native Jay Wentzel knows how to do, it is help people.

Recently, Wentzel opened a store in downtown Jackson that enables people to access cheaper prescriptions through Canada.

FDA seeks to block counterfeit drugs
WHILE THE SUPPLY of prescription drugs in the United States is the safest in the world, FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan said there has been an increase in counterfeiting in recent years and criminals have become more sophisticated.

From the Durham (NC) Herald Sun:
Canadian drug sanctions sought
The N.C. Board of Pharmacy filed a legal complaint Wednesday seeking to shutter five offices that have been set up in western North Carolina to bring in cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

From the Washington Times:
Support mounts for Canadian drug imports
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has unveiled an online petition drive aimed at pressuring the Bush administration to allow Canadian prescription drug imports.

The Governor is asking consumers to fill out an online petition in support of drug importation at www.affordabledrugs.il.gov.

From the Charleston (WV) Gazette:
Governor launches Web site on importing Canadian prescription drugs
The governor of Illinois launched a Web site Tuesday that includes information about buying prescription drugs from Canadian companies to take advantage of lower prices there.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich also encouraged consumers to fill out an online petition in support of the proposal and appeared on NBC's "Today'' show to discuss the idea.

From the Boston Channel:
Reilly Wants Easier Access To Imported Drugs
Massachusetts Attorney General said that the prices of prescription drugs in the U.S. are too high, and he's looking across the boarder for a better deal.

NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu reported that Tom Reilly is demanding that the federal government set up a system to import cheaper, legal drugs from Canada. The city of Springfield is defying federal law by setting up it's own Canadian prescription drug program.

From the Buffalo (NY) News:
Federal regulators try to halt tide of Canadian drugs
The battle over importing prescription drugs is erupting into a border war of sorts.

Lured by the chance to cut costs in half, state governments hope to join the one city and legions of Americans who get their medicines from Canada, even as federal regulators and the pharmaceutical industry insist it's illegal and unsafe and step up efforts to stop it.

From the Green Bay (WI) News Chronicle:
Legislators, pharmacists react to Canada Drug Service opening
Traditionally, Americans look to Canada in search of maple syrup, a good hockey game and vacation spots.

Now many Americans - especially seniors - are looking to the neighbor to the north for low-cost prescription drugs.

From WBAY (WI):
Patients Seeking Cheaper Prescription Drugs
Since opening last week, Canada Drug Service in Green Bay has received more than a thousand phone calls, the company says. The company also claims consumers are finding savings of up to 85 percent.

From the Des Moines (IO) Register:
Dean open to buying drugs from Canada
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Monday night at a Council Bluffs senior center that if elected president, he would direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada.

"There is no evidence that Canadian drugs are inferior in any way to U.S. drugs," Dean said, according to prepared remarks. "Our citizens should be permitted to realize the substantial savings of purchasing drugs by mail order from Canadian pharmacies."

From News 24 Houston:
Board to shut down companies crossing the border for cheaper prescriptions
Prescription drugs may be cheaper in Canada, but if you buy them from across the border, your days of low-cost medication may be numbered.

The Texas Board of Pharmacy says companies who provide discounted prescription drugs to patients by way of pharmacies in Canada are violating state law and will be shut down.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

From the Indianapolis Star:
A bitter pill for drug makers
Before selling a patented drug in Canada, even the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world come calling on a small government agency in downtown Ottawa.

Working out of a 19-story office tower, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board wields control over prices on the more than 900 patented drugs sold in Canada.

From the Green Bay (WI) Press Gazette:
Seniors look north of the border to ease prescription-drug costs
The math is simple and irrefutable. Fixed incomes plus unaffordable drugs equal Canadian pharmaceutical imports.

From just a few million dollars in 2000, the importation of price-controlled drugs from Canada has grown to a projected $800 million this year and shows no signs of letting up.

That’s because people who do not have prescription drug insurance, primarily senior citizens on Medicare, are seeking to avoid the sometimes crippling cost of buying medicine they need. Consumers can save up to 85 percent of the cost of the same drugs purchased in the United States.

From WTHR (IN):
More centers offering prescription drugs from Canada
"How much does it cost?" asked Marge Collins. "For my husband and I, our prescriptions for a month run about $300 and we are on Social Security and that's tough."

Canada Drug Service opened in Indianapolis in response to that very frustration. They showed up in town just two months after the RX Depot. Both are small businesses that help people buy brand name drugs from Canadian pharmacies at prices far lower than if bought in the U.S.

From the Barre Montpelier (VT) Times Argus:
Douglas receptive to reimporting prescription drugs
Gov. James Douglas, like a growing number of his counterparts nationwide, supports the notion of allowing people to buy their prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies.

And while the first-term Republican stopped short of endorsing a scheme that would put state government directly into the reimportation business, he stressed that his reluctance to do so stems solely from the fact that it’s against the law and not from any philosophical opposition to a practice that is at the heart of a national debate over the cost of drugs.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

From the North Brunswick (NJ) Sentinel:
Prescription drug seller supports new bill
Ed Goldman supports a proposed drug reimportation bill, even though it may ultimately put him out of business.

Goldman, 77, said he began importing prescription drugs from Canada "as a service" for others after he was told he needed to go on Plavix, which keeps his arteries open and clear of cholesterol and fats.

From the Houston Chronicle:
Pharmacy refuses to stop selling Canadian drugs
Operators of an Amarillo drug store that fills prescriptions with drugs imported from Canada vow to continue the practice despite a state demand for them to stop.

From the (Portland) Oregonian:
Consumers have a new route to getting prescriptions filled
The nondescript storefront, tucked between a beauty shop and an insurance office, looks right at home in its suburban strip-mall surroundings.

But inside, a pharmaceutical revolution -- one already branded as illegal by the federal government's drug-regulation agency -- is taking place.

From the Indianapolis Star:
State is examining drug-ordering stores
A second order center for Canadian prescription drugs has opened its doors in Indianapolis and drawn a quick warning letter from the Indiana Board of Pharmacy.

Canada Drug Service, which is run by two employees in a storefront at 7004 N. Keystone Ave., is operating what amounts to an unlicensed pharmacy, the pharmacy board told the store's owner in a hand-delivered letter late last month.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

From TurnTo10.com (RI):
Store Offers Canadian Prescription Drugs
Elie Rizk is a Canadian connection. He's a middle man hooking up local consumers with prescription drugs from Canada.

Rizk operates Canada Drug Source from a North Attleboro store front. He orders drugs for consumers from a Canadian pharmacy and the drugs are shipped directly to the consumer's home.

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:
Federal lawsuit fails to stop Rx Depot
Business is good at Rx Depot's storefront in Squirrel Hill, according to its owner George Risov. So good that its telephone answering machine still fills to capacity -- despite a federal lawsuit filed recently against the chain of stores that provides lower-cost medications from Canada to U.S. residents.

From the Washington Post:

Breast Cancer Drug Reduces Relapse Risk

A new drug cuts by nearly half the risk that older women who have survived early-stage breast cancer will suffer a relapse, according to the results of a large international study released yesterday.

The study, which was halted early so that the results could be made public, has the potential to change the way thousands of women are treated for one of the most common and feared malignancies, researchers said.

From the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal:
Study: Drug Cuts Breast Cancer Recurrence
Researchers were so encouraged by early results from a study on preventing breast cancer recurrence that they halted their work so more women can benefit from the findings.

The study, published online Thursday by the New England Journal of Medicine, showed breast cancer patients who follow up five years of tamoxifen treatment with letrozole, an estrogen suppressor, cut the risk of recurrence by nearly half.
From ABC News:
Patient Appeals Judge for Canadian Drugs
A heart transplant patient told a federal judge Thursday that he saves nearly $9,000 a year on medication through a company the government says is breaking the law by importing drugs from Canada.

Jerry Cox told U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan that he would suffer serious economic harm if she shuts down 85 storefronts that operate under the names Rx Depot and Rx of Canada.

From KOIN (OR):
Local Store Brings Discount Canadian Drugs To U.S.
A new Tigard business is bringing Canadian prescription drugs to the United States.

For a $13 shipping fee and the cost of the pills, medications can be sent directly from a Vancouver, British Columbia, pharmacy to your home.

From WTOL (OH):
Drug Savings vs. Drug Safety
Shutting down a firm that links seniors with low-cost medication from Canada would create a "domino effect," leaving Americans nationwide without access to drugs they can afford, the company's lawyer told a federal judge during a hearing Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan will decide whether to issue a nationwide injunction against a Tulsa-based chain of 85 storefronts that operate under the names Rx Depot and Rx of Canada.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

From the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal:
Rx Depot Case Pits Savings Against Safety
Shutting down a firm that links seniors with low-cost medication from Canada would create a "domino effect," leaving Americans nationwide without access to drugs they can afford, the company's lawyer told a federal judge during a hearing Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan will decide whether to issue a nationwide injunction against a Tulsa-based chain of 85 storefronts that operate under the names Rx Depot and Rx of Canada.

From the Washington Post:
Hopefuls Back Drug Reimports
The Democratic presidential candidates say they support legalizing prescription drug purchases from Canada and Europe, which federal regulators and the pharmaceutical industry warn could be risky.

Their support of a House bill being negotiated in Congress comes as lawmakers and the Bush administration struggle to meet a self-imposed Oct. 17 deadline to approve a much broader Medicare prescription drug package.

From KOTV (OK):
Massachussets mayor in Tulsa to testify on behalf of RX Depot
"The FDA likes to say that this is a safety issue, well they're right. When I have to lay off firefighters, that's a safety issue; when I have to lay off police officers that's a safety issue. My prescription drug costs have gone up 100% in Springfield Massachusetts in 8 years."

Albano says Springfield will save enough money in one year to rehire dozens of laid-off police and fire personnel.

From the Montgomery (AL) Independent:
Local judge asked to stop cheap Rx firm
State regulators are asking a local judge to shut down a Huntsville distributor of Canadian prescription drugs, contending it's operating without a pharmacy license.

Don Copeland, co-owner of the targeted business, Canadian Options LLC, blames politics fueled by money from big American drug companies for the move.

From the Ottawa Citizen:
Study suggests antibiotic combo may slow progression of Alzheimer's
A combination of two inexpensive antibiotics could slow the heartbreaking spiral of mental decline experienced by people with Alzheimer's disease, a group of Canadian researchers is reporting.

Alzheimer's patients who took the drugs - doxycycline and rifampin - in combination for three months showed significantly slower cognitive decline at six months out from the start of the trial than patients who received a placebo, they will report at the annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America in San Diego on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

From the Canadian Press:
Sask. pharmacists offer objective view of prescription drugs
Doctors and other health-care professionals wanting accurate, unbiased information about prescription drugs are turning to a pharmacist-run program based in Saskatoon.

"We look at the effectiveness, the safety or toxicity and the cost of the drugs," said Loren Regier, co-ordinator of the Rx Files Academic Detailing Program and its only full-time employee.

From the New Britain (CT) Herald:
Importing Canadian drugs
Following the lead of Springfield, Mass., one of the Northeast’s other troubled cities, Republican mayoral candidate Timothy Stewart is calling for a committee to explore buying prescription drugs in bulk from Canada.

By using the bulk purchasing power of the city’s employees, retirees and local senior citizens, who Stewart said he would try to include in any Canadian drug plan developed for the city, the Republican said the city could save millions of dollars.

From the Rocky Mountain News:
Radio tags may help FDA fight drug fakes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration might ask companies to help fight drug counterfeiting by adding tracking technology to packaging in order to verify that patients are getting the drug advertised on the label.
From USA Today:
Once just a trickle, Canada's Rx drugs pouring into USA
It began as a novelty: grannies riding buses to Canada in search of cheaper medicines. But today, that search has mushroomed into a cross-border war that pits desperate consumers and defiant state and local governments against the powerful pharmaceutical industry and the Bush administration.

From just a few million dollars a year in 2000, the importation of price-controlled drugs from Canada has grown to a projected $800 million this year and shows no signs of letting up. "I've never in my wildest dreams imagined an industry like this," says Andy Troszok, a pharmacist in Calgary, and vice president of an exporters' trade group.

From the Washington Times:
Canadian prescriptions mushroom into U.S.
The value of prescription drugs being imported to the United States from Canada is projected to hit $800 million this year, USA Today reported Tuesday.

For drugmakers, the risk is not simply the loss of money through Canadian sales. Imports remain a tiny share of the overall U.S. drug market, which is expected to exceed $200 billion this year. More threatening is the potential collapse of a price structure that allows drugmakers to charge as much as possible in the United States while complying with government price controls in other countries

From WBBM (IL):
Illinois Working With Canada on Prescription Drugs
A delegation of Illinois health and policy officials is visiting Canada this week as part of a study on the merits of letting state employees and retirees buy prescription drugs from Canadian companies.

From WBAY (WI):
New Business Offers Prescription Drugs at Canadian Prices
A new business opened its doors Tuesday in Green Bay with the promise of selling cheaper prescription drugs by getting them from outside the country. Customers order their drugs locally, but the prescriptions are filled and then shipped to them from Canada at cheaper prices.

From WPOM (AR):
Tulsa District Court to Decide Rx Depot's Fate
A U.S. District judge is set to decide whether or not to issue a nationwide injunction that would close down all Rx Depots.

Rx Depot re-imports prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies, costing consumers 50% to 60% less.

Monday, October 06, 2003

From Channel Oklahoma:
East Coast Witness To Testify For RxDepot
A company that acts as a liaison between consumers and cheaper prescription drugs from Canada is getting a boost from a Massachusetts mayor.

Michael Albano, mayor of Springfield, Mass., plans to testify on behalf of RxDepot, which is the target of a federal lawsuit that seeks to close the Tulsa-based company.

From the Longview (TX) News Journal:
Canada fills $1 billion of prescriptions for Americans seeking cheaper pills
It's just after 4 p.m. -- rush hour at CanAmerica Drugs Inc. The big red Canada Post mail truck pulls up to the front door. Workers at this growing, mail-order pharmacy move into high gear to get today's shipments of Lipitor, Fosamax and other prescription drugs on their way to the United States.

Jackie Drapeau, one of four packers, grabs a gray bin off a rolling conveyer belt and carefully checks each drug order against its invoice. Then she puts the medicine bottles in a plastic envelope, seals it and drops it into one of four mail sacks divided by U.S. region.

From the Toledo (OH) Blade:
Minnesota lawmaker sees drug-import bill as right prescription
An effort to legalize the widespread importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada into the United States was prompted by an unusual source: The price of pigs.

Minnesota Congressman Gil Gutknecht was angry that nothing could be done to prevent cheaper Canadian hogs from flooding across the border and hurting American farmers. So, he decided if U.S. consumers had easy access to cheap Canadian pork, they deserved easy access to inexpensive Canadian drugs.

"We have free trade when it comes to hogs, but not Prilosec," he said of the popular pill used to control heartburn.

From American Medical News:
FDA sues Rx sellers to stop importation of drugs from Canada
Marc Lewin, MD, a family physician in Charlotte, N.C., said some patients have asked him about Rx Depot since a storefront opened in his area a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Lewin practiced medicine in Canada between 1991 and 1994. Since that time, he's practiced in the United States.

"People's main concern is quality," Dr. Lewin said. "I can tell them, 'yes, the quality is there.' " But patients need to be certain they are dealing with a quality company doing the shipping, he said.

From the Canadian Press:
Illinois interested in 'Net pharmacies
A delegation from Illinois is heading to Winnipeg this week to check out several Internet pharmacies.

The state's governor, Rod Blagojevich, has said he's interested in buying prescription drugs from Canada for state employees and seniors.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

From the White Plains (NY) Journal News:
Americans turning to Canada for prescription drugs
Cohen bought her first prescription from Canada three years ago, and since then a growing number of Americans have joined her, entering a seemingly illogical and maddening universe of prescription drug prices. It's a place where medicines sold in the United States cost 40 percent, 50 percent and even 60 percent less in Canada, where drug prices are set by the government.

From MLive.com:
Cheap Rx club seeks Flint store
A few desks and a fax machine or two are all Robert Zeineh needs to open a company that can fill drug prescriptions at a bargain rate.

Zeineh, 28, is looking for a Flint storefront for his American Drug Club. He wants to open within a month.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

From the Ottawa Citizen:
U.S. entrepreneur vows to fight U.S. government over importing Canadian drugs
Carl Moore has made - and lost - money lots of different ways. In oil. In water, too.

This time, he says, it feels different. As the founder of a chain of storefronts that help seniors buy cheap prescription drugs from Canada, Moore has a sense he is doing good and that his cause is worth the battle against state and federal regulators trying to shut him down. "I'm on a crusade," Moore declares in a deep voice with an Oklahoma twang.

From the Hampton Roads (VA) Daily Press:
Office orders from across border
A new business in Newport News is helping local consumers get cheaper prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the practice is illegal.

Canada Drug Service, a national chain based in Naples, Fla., opened a franchise in Denbigh Crossing Shopping Center this week.

From the Canadian Press:
Canadian drug exporter and FDA heading for legal showdown in U.S.
A Canadian exporter says it's willing to change delivery procedures and may stop selling some prescribed medications - including diabetes drugs - in the United States but vows it won't quit serving the U.S. market.

"We haven't considered that at all," CanaRX president Anthony Howard said in an interview Friday after the Food and Drug Administration threatened legal action against his company.

From Al-Jazeera:
US turns to Canada for cheap drugs
On both sides of the US-Canadian border, pharmacists, laboratories, consumers and politicians are engaged in a battle over the price of medicines.

In Canada, prices of pharmaceutical products are set by the government and as a result cost less than in the US.

The difference in price can be as much as 50% for similar products in the US.

From the Chicago Sun Times:
Blagojevich seeks probe of drug makers
Gov. Blagojevich called on Illinois' top law enforcement officer Thursday to investigate whether drug makers have conspired to keep consumers from buying low-cost drugs from Canada.

But Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she already has been reviewing whether to take legal action against manufacturers who limit supplies sent to Canadian wholesalers and pharmacies, which in turn sell their goods to Americans.

Friday, October 03, 2003

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Illinois Gov. Seeks Drug Imports Probe
Gov. Rod Blagojevich called Thursday for a state probe into whether drug manufacturers are illegally blocking access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

The governor asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office to investigate whether the companies have committed antitrust violations by limiting supply to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers.

From the Brandon Sun:
Pharmacist refutes U.S. allegations
Terry Fraser has absolutely no doubt that the prescription drugs he sends south to American customers are safe and authentic.

"I have no doubts, because I buy from good sources," says Fraser, owner and pharmacist at Smart Med Pharmacy in Roblin, which does nearly 90 per cent of its business with U.S. customers.

From the Charleston (WV) Gazette:
Internet drug ruling due soon
Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom said he will rule by the end of the month in a case challenging the operation of a Fairmont company that helps people order discounted drugs from Canada.

The state Board of Pharmacy has asked the court to shut down the Discount Prescription Center. During a hearing before Bloom on Thursday, pharmacy board lawyers argued that the center is acting like a pharmacy.

From the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger:
At What Price?
As one of the world's biggest drug makers, Merck is regularly blamed for being part of the problem. Ray Gilmartin, chief executive of the Whitehouse Station-based company, recently sat down with editors and reporters at The Star-Ledger to present his view of the issues.

From the Royal Oak (MI) Daily Tribune:
Canadian Rx liaison opens in Troy
A conduit for lower-cost Canadian non-narcotic prescription medications opened its doors to the public Tuesday in Troy.

From WJRT (MI):
Cheap prescriptions available
A new business that may be coming to the Flint Area could save you a bundle of money in prescription drugs.

From the Oakland (MI) Press:
Investigation of drug 'storefronts' sought
Citing safety concerns, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, has urged Gov. Jennifer Granholm to investigate drugstores that help consumers obtain prescription drugs from Canada.

Popping up across the country, the stores do not have pharmacists but have staff members, computers and fax machines to help people order drugs from Canada.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

From the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch:
Hatch Takes Dual Action on Pharmaceutical Industry Front
Attorney General Issues Report Denouncing Industry’s Political Influence and
Announces Legal Action to Compel Manufacturer To Produce Records in Canadian Boycott Investigation

Read the report "Follow the Money: The Pharmaceutical Industry. The Other Drug Cartel" (requires Adobe Acrobat).

Read the Motion against GSK (requires Adobe Acrobat).
From the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press:
Hatch files suit against drug giant
Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch filed a lawsuit Tuesday against GlaxoSmithKline claiming the pharmaceutical company is spearheading an industry-wide conspiracy to stop Minnesotans from buying less-expensive drugs in Canada.

The first-of-its-kind lawsuit would require the company to make available documents that Hatch says could show it is conspiring with other drug companies to fight efforts to curtail skyrocketing prices in the United States.

From the Gloucester County (NJ) Times:
Governor won't back plan to import Canada medicine
Gov. James E. McGreevey on Tuesday declined to endorse any plan that would have New Jersey state agencies re-import low-cost medications from Canada and reduce state spending on prescription drugs.

From the Boston Globe:
Springfield Retirement Board cautious on divestiture
Representatives of city retirees responded cautiously yesterday when Mayor Michael Albano, who is making a precedent-setting attempt to import lower-cost Canadian drugs for city workers, asked the Retirement Board to rid its investment portfolio of pharmaceutical stocks.

From Reuters:
Lilly: Antidepressant Needs No New Trials
Eli Lilly and Co. said on Wednesday its experimental anti-depressant Cymbalta will not need to undergo new trials, raising chances of a speedy regulatory approval of the medicine.
From Brunei Online:
Drug price war between US, Canada
On both sides of the US-Canadian border, pharmacists, laboratories, consumers and politicians are engaged in a pitched battle over the price of medicines.
The reason is that in Canada, prices of pharmaceutical products are set by the government and thus cost less than in the US.

The difference can reach up to 50 percent for similar products which, ironically, for the most part are made in the US.

The US is the only member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a free market for prescription drugs, which makes them more expensive.

US consumer groups, as well as some employers who provide health insurance to their employees, complain more and more about the situation.

From the Biloxi (MS) Sun Herald:
Canada Needs Time to Supply Drugs to Poor
Canada came under pressure Wednesday to quickly allow generic drug makers to supply cheap copies of patented medicine to poor countries, but a government spokesman said such a step would likely take months.

The U.N. special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa joined aid agencies and other nongovernment organizations in calling for Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government to immediately amend the patent law so Canadian generic drug makers can take part in a recent World Trade Organization agreement.
From the Detroit News:
Michigan may buy Canada drugs
The state of Michigan may follow the lead of hundreds of Michigan senior citizens who regularly save money by purchasing their prescription drugs from Canada.

A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health said Gov. Jennifer Granholm is interested in recent moves by Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa to investigate buying drugs from Canada for state workers and Medicaid recipients.

From the Toronto Star:
FDA gets tough on mailed Cdn drugs
In a major acceleration of its war against cheaper imported drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will crack down on mail shipments from Canada.

With limited manpower, the FDA has often looked the other way while millions of Americans crossed the border or ordered drugs on the Internet, often at less than half the price they'd pay at home, where no price controls exist.

From WJRT (MI):
New business may come to Flint
A new business may be coming to Genesee County, but the news isn't sitting well with local pharmacists. The American Drug Club may soon open its doors in the Flint area.

From KOTV (OK):
Entrepreneur Carl Moore vows to fight government over Canadian drugs
Carl Moore has made _ and lost _ money lots of different ways. In oil. In water, too.

This time, he says, it feels different. As the founder of a chain of storefronts that help seniors buy cheap prescription drugs from Canada, Moore has a sense he is doing good, and that his cause is worth the battle against state and federal regulators trying to shut him down.