Friday, December 12, 2003

From Newsday (NY):
Westchester County sets up discount drug program
Westchester County has set up a prescription drug network to help uninsured or underinsured residents afford their medications.

County Executive Andrew Spano announced Thursday that beginning Feb. 1, for $15 per person or $26 per family, paid yearly, consumers will receive cards identifying them as members of the county program.

They can then go to any of 114 pharmacies in the county for a discount; order medications by mail for a larger discount if the medication is not needed immediately; or take advantage of a Canadian pharmacy option that could result in even lower prices.

From the Toronto Star:
Natural remedies renewed
Insomniacs will be able to sleep easier thanks to new regulations for natural health products that take effect next month.

One favourite natural health product — melatonin, long used as a sleep aid and to counter jet lag — is listed on the natural health product monographs approved by the federal government and will be allowed to go on sale in January. Health foods stores were told to stop selling melatonin in the mid-90s because it was considered a drug.

From the Portland (Maine) Press Herald:
As New Hampshire, Massachusetts go, so goes Maine?
Following the lead of New Hampshire and Boston, Maine officials are considering whether to try to rein in prescription drug costs by importing medicines from Canada.

Trish Riley, director of the Gov.´s Office of Health Finance Policy, plans to brief lawmakers Wednesday on their options.

"We´re looking at drug reimportation from a whole bunch of directions. We´re looking to save anything, anytime, anywhere," she said.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
New Hampshire to put Canadian drugs mere click away for its residents
In just over a week, New Hampshire plans to become the first state to help its residents buy cheaper medicines from Canada. All it will take is the click of a mouse on a state Web site and a prescription from a licensed New Hampshire doctor.

The state also plans to buy prescription drugs in bulk from Canada for its prison inmates and some Medicaid recipients.

From the Boston Channel:
Finneran Against Buying Canadian Drugs
At least one powerful Massachusetts politician is not impressed with the move to buy prescription drugs from Canada.

House Speaker Tom Finneran told the Boston Herald it will drive what he calls a fatal stake through the heart of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in Massachusetts.

From the Missoulian (MT):
State won't join push for cheaper drugs
Here in Montana, consumer advocacy groups like AARP Montana support the importation of Canadian drugs, since most prescription pills from Canada cost 40 percent to 50 percent less than their American counterparts.

But state officials aren't doing much about it.

"There is nothing being pursued from this office at this time," said Chuck Butler, spokesman for Gov. Judy Martz. "Frankly, there hasn't been anyone suggesting we do that."

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