Wednesday, December 10, 2003

From the Boston Herald:
Menino's Rx plan called `illegal'
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and city officials would put the health of employees and retirees at risk if they provide them with Canadian drugs, critics said yesterday.

They also could make taxpayers liable should any lawsuits arise, and that could cost millions more than the city would save under a pilot program proposed by Menino last night, critics said. For instance, critics said, taxpayers could be at risk because the plan runs afoul of federal law.

From USA Today:

Boston, N.H. look to Canada for drugs

The Republican governor of New Hampshire and the Democratic mayor of Boston launched programs Tuesday to allow residents to buy lower-cost drugs from Canada, adding momentum to a growing movement that would defy the Food and Drug Administration.

The efforts by New Hampshire and Boston — which said they can't afford to wait for federal approval — will be watched by states and cities that want to lower their budgets by buying drugs from Canada, where price controls keep costs lower than in the USA.

From the Mid Iowa Enterprise:
Ethical importation of drugs
Health care has been a major issue in the United States of late, with recent focus given to some of the astronomical prices paid for prescription medicine. In contrast, Canadian citizens enjoy a much more economical health care system, which provides citizens with things like free medical care, and low-cost prescription drugs.

From the New York Times:
Pressure on Canada's Online Drug Sellers
With prices that are typically one-half to two-thirds of what drugstores charge in the United States, the Canadian online pharmacies supply a growing number of Americans - about one million, by their latest estimate - with drugs costing some $700 million a year.

The cross-border retail sales of prescription drugs rely on the Food and Drug Administration's discretion to allow imports of small quantities of medicines for personal use. Many state and local politicians have said they favor easier access to cheaper imported drugs for Americans, but the major drug makers have lobbied against the idea, seeing it as a threat to their biggest and most profitable market. The new Medicare law legalizes cross-border drug purchases, but only for foreign drugs that the secretary of health and human services certifies are safe; any certifications are not likely to happen soon.

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