Friday, December 19, 2003

From Reuters:
Boston Mayor Vows to Move Ahead on Drug Imports
The city of Boston will start importing cheaper prescription medicines from Canada on July 1, 2004, even if U.S. regulators refuse to approve the plan, the city's mayor vowed on Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration repeatedly has warned that importing medicines from other countries is illegal and unsafe.

After meeting with FDA officials, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he was not persuaded to abandon the plan. He said he hoped to convince the FDA to work with him on a program the agency could endorse, but would proceed regardless.

From the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman:
Ulster mulls medicine plan
Ulster County is looking into developing program to provide discounted prescription drugs to county residents that would include, among other options, buying less expensive drugs from Canada.

Lawmakers unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday that asks the Public Health Committee to research, develop, and implement a discount drug program for Ulster County residents.

From the Macomb (IL) Eagle:
Are those drugs really safe?
In looking for the answer to the high costs of pharmaceuticals in the United States, Gov. Rod Blagojevich turned to the cheaper prices of Canadian drugs. However, this move could have succeeded primarily in stirring up even more questions about the Illinois governor’s efforts to find a cheap drug alternative for his people. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to know how Blagojevich’s research team can guarantee safety when the FDA themselves can’t even do that. How can counterfeiting be curbed in other countries when the U.S. has difficulty in its own? And finally there’s the Internet, which is fast becoming a go-to place for Canadian drugs. That last one in particular might not be such a good idea for consumers to utilize.

From the Berkshire (MA) Eagle:
Discount Drugs proprietor takes issue with Bosley's description of business
The controversy over accessibility to Canadian prescription drugs has inspired fresh debate following public comments by state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams.

And the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has posted a survey question about the issue on its Internet Web site.

Bosley has drawn criticism from a city man hoping to open a Discount Drugs of Canada store at a building owned by David Carver at 85 Main St. The state lawmaker's recorded comments were broadcast earlier this week on radio stations WNAW and WMNB.

From the Boston Globe:
Canadian pharmacy group warns of supply problems
The trade group representing Canada's largest Internet pharmacies told American cities and states last night to stop planning large-scale prescription drug purchasing plans for employees, saying tens of thousands of new customers would create widespread supply problems for consumers on both sides of the border.

The announcement came just a week after Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that he will begin importing drugs from Canada for city workers in a pilot program. Menino planned to be in Washington, D.C., today to press Food and Drug Administration officials to authorize his plan.

From Tech Central Station:
Foreign Drugs Will Bring Liability Headaches for States
Governors across the country in a desperate bid to balance their budgets are getting seduced by one, very bad idea: Buying U.S.-made drugs from abroad where they are often cheaper -- thanks to foreign government price controls. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich recently proclaimed that he could save his state a whopping $91 million every year by establishing a drug pipeline to Canada. Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm has likewise suggested that she could save her state Medicaid program potentially tens of millions of dollars by buying drugs north of the border.

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