Sunday, November 30, 2003

From the Boston Globe:
FDA has no reports of drugs from Canada harming US users
Although they've been warning Americans about the dangers of prescription drugs from Canada for nearly a year, US Food and Drug Administration officials can't name a single American who has been injured by drugs bought from licensed Canadian pharmacies.

"We don't have that," said Tom McGinnis, the FDA's director of pharmacy affairs. "I can't think of one thing off the top of my head where somebody died or somebody got put in the hospital because of these medications. I just don't know if there's anything like that."

From the Lincoln (IL) Courier:
Governor puts squeeze on big drug companies
The governor’s plan takes aim at the five companies that have restricted sales to Canada to stop the flow of re-imported drugs. Blagojevich on Tuesday said he will eliminate any drugs manufactured by those companies from the drug list used by state employees, retirees, inmates and psychiatric patients, when an alternative is available.

"We are not going to just sit back and watch the big drug companies use their political clout and their dominance of the marketplace to force Americans to continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," Blagojevich said.

From the Contra Costa (CA) Times:
Cities, states take initiative to buy drugs from Canada
As the Senate approved a $400 billion Medicare package including a prescription drug benefit Tuesday, lawmakers left unanswered one of the most pressing questions in the debate: Should Americans be allowed to buy cheaper medicine from Canada?

But that does not mean the issue is going away.

Some city and state governments are pressing ahead to set up programs to re-import U.S.-made drugs from Canada.

That could set the stage for a showdown between the states and federal health regulators, who maintain the practice is illegal.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Despite new law, seniors keep buying Canadian drugs
When Congress approved drug coverage under Medicare this week, it also agreed that Americans shouldn't be allowed to buy cheaper drugs in Canada without assurances that those drugs are safe.

But questions about Canadian drugs won't keep Ohioans from crossing the border for a bargain. The Strongsville Senior Center's next bus trip to a Canadian pharmacy is Jan. 15. Rx USA, a Cuyahoga Heights company, plans a free trip in March.

From the Duluth (MN) News Tribune:
Side effects may waylay nature
Other countries are leading the U.S. in getting medicines out of the water. Australia has collected more than 760 tons of medicines since starting a program in 1998 that encourages consumers to return unwanted drugs to pharmacies so they can be incinerated. Canada has a similar program.

Most U.S. pharmacies, however, won't accept unused or unwanted medicines. Walgreens, one of the nation's largest pharmacy chains, will not accept any returned drugs, company officials said last week.

From the New York Times:
Holding Down Drug Prices (editorial)
We can think of two additional approaches to reducing costs that should have wide appeal. The first is to alter the drug industry's global pricing patterns. Drug companies now charge what the market will bear in this country and sell at lower, government-dictated prices in other industrialized nations, effectively forcing American consumers to pay for research that benefits the rest of the affluent world. The Bush administration needs to instruct the United States trade representative to press for a fairer pricing system, or else Congress should take up again the notion of allowing reimportation of low-cost drugs, not just from Canada but from Western Europe as well.

From CBC:
Is Viagra up for the competition?
There's a new kid on the erectile dysfunction block - and it could give Viagra a run for its money.

Cialis hit the market in Canada today. It's been highly anticipated by many men because it works for up to 36 hours compared to Viagra's five.

From CTV:
Morning after pill may soon be over the counter
Now Health Canada is recommending that emergency contraception be sold over the counter next fall -- without a prescription and without a discussion with a pharmacist.

From the Tarentum Valley (PA) News Dispatch:
Ohio service offers drugs from Canada
Donna Robinson knows the difficulties associated with paying for costly prescriptions. Her mother takes multiple prescriptions. But with only Social Security to cover costs, she couldn't afford her medicine.

Robinson began ordering her mother's drugs through a Canadian pharmacy. Now, 18 months later, she said she can do the same for Valley residents who were left with no prescription-drug alternatives after a federal judge ordered the closing of the Rx Depot branch in Fox Chapel earlier this month

From the Oregon News Review:
Canada Drug Supply set to challenge refusal
An appeals hearing to determine whether the city of Roseburg will issue a business registration to Canada Drug Supply, which offers discounted prescriptions, will be held Tuesday.

So far, city officials have refused to issue the registration, which is required to operate a business within Roseburg's city limits. Questions about the legality of the business -- which faxes prescriptions from local customers to a pharmacy in Canada, where the order is filled and mailed directly to customers -- caused the city to deny the application, City Recorder Sheila Cox said.

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