Saturday, December 13, 2003

From the New Haven Register:
DeLauro wants end to foreign drug ban
DeLauro argued in a letter to Thompson that the possibility is "an acknowledgment that pharmaceuticals produced and purchased in other industrialized nations … have equivalent safety standards as those in the U.S., and thus are appropriate for consumption by U.S. citizens."

DeLauro noted that the government bought the Bayer antibiotic Cipro from Canada during the anthrax bioterror attacks of late 2001.

"The Food and Drug Administration can not name a single American who has been injured or killed by drugs bought from licensed Canadian or European pharmacies," DeLauro wrote. She said it was "unfortunate that American citizens do not have the same legal right as the federal government to take advantage of the world marketplace for affordable prescription drugs."

From the Indianapolis Star:
Pfizer tightens drug sales to Canadian firms
U.S. drug imports totaled about $650 million in 2002, according to IMS Health Inc., a market-research firm. Pfizer told Canadian distributors in a letter that they must seek approval to sell its drugs to new customers. The distributors also will be asked to flag pharmacies whose purchases exceed certain limits.

"Our modified trade terms require that you not accept any order from, or otherwise sell products to, any purchasers that are not on the most recent list provided to you by Pfizer," the letter said. The restrictions went into effect Thursday.

From the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
Mayor supports Canadian drug buys
Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas is proposing to buy Canadian drugs for employees in the county's health plan and use the savings to subsidize drug costs of low-income senior citizens.

Penelas will make a presentation to the county commissioners on Tuesday, with a vote expected Jan. 20 on whether to make a study of the issue, said his chief of staff, Javier Soto. After the 60-day study, the county would decide whether to pursue the idea.

From the Lowell (Mass) Sun:
On Canada prescriptions, a dose of caution
Lowell City Manager John Cox is intrigued by the potential cost-savings that would come with providing prescription drugs from Canada to the city's employees, except for a couple of things.

It's illegal. And maybe dangerous.

The federal government doesn't allow municipalities to buy drugs from outside the United States for employees. The federal Food and Drug Administration also says drugs bought outside the country may not be healthy for those taking them.

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