Wednesday, October 01, 2003

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.

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