Wednesday, December 10, 2003

From the Caledonian (Vermont) Record:
N.H. May Start Canadian Drug Purchases
New Hampshire is going to investigate re-importing American-manufactured prescription drugs from Canada as a way to reduce the burden of their ever-rising costs - in complete defiance of the federal government.

Gov. Craig Benson made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference. Besides state employees, he said the Department of Corrections and the Department of Health and Human Services also will explore the prospect of allowing employees to re-import prescription drugs.

From the Concord (NH) Monitor:
Benson sees hope in Canada
In an effort to save money, New Hampshire will begin buying prescription drugs from Canada, Gov. Craig Benson said yesterday. But Benson could be setting up the state for a fight with the federal government, as drug officials say Benson's plan is unsafe and illegal, and would potentially expose the state's residents to tainted drugs.

"It's simple to say: He would be breaking the law," said Tom McGinnis, the chief pharmacist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "We worry about the health risks of bringing unknown drugs into this country."

From the Boston Globe:
N.H. to obtain drugs via Canada
Governor Craig Benson of New Hampshire will set up a program to import prescription drugs from Canada, declaring yesterday that he plans to reduce state prescription drug costs even if it means defying the Food and Drug Administration.

In an interview, Benson brushed aside the FDA's repeated warnings about the safety of drugs shipped from Canada. He also dismissed the FDA's caution that importation would expose states to civil lawsuits if someone dies or is injured by an illegally imported drug.

From the Nashua (NH) Telegraph:
State seeks to reimport drugs
Gov. Craig Benson announced plans Tuesday for the state government to purchase cheaper-priced drugs from Canada and allow any adult to use a state Web site to buy their own prescriptions.

“Pharmaceutical companies should charge one price for all the markets that they serve,’’ Benson told reporters.

New Hampshire would become the first state in the nation to buy medications from Canada for low-income residents and the disabled on the Medicaid health insurance program.

From the Seattle Times:
Cities, state to import medicine from Canada
Seeking to reduce Boston's $61 million annual prescription-drug costs, Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday unveiled a health plan that would allow municipal workers to obtain cheaper medications from Canada.

New Hampshire also said yesterday it would start importing some drugs for its prison inmates and Medicaid recipients, making it the first state to engage in the growing but illegal practice. Burlington, Vt., plans to start importing prescription drugs for city employees starting March 1, Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle said yesterday.

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