Tuesday, December 30, 2003

From the St. Petersburg (Fla) Times:
Policy a prescription for defiance
The Bush administration is struggling in its campaign to stop a growing number of cities and states that are considering buying low-price, American-made prescription drugs from Canada.

In recent weeks, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has taken a series of steps aimed at discouraging state and local governments from "reimporting" medicines from Canada for their employees and retirees. Those efforts include:

From WSFA (Alabama):
Montgomery Allows City Employees to Purchase Drugs From Canada
An article in USA Today is putting the City of Montgomery back in the national spotlight- not for civil rights or religion, but because of prescription drugs. The city is buying prescription drugs from Canada for its employees- and it's been doing so for almost a year- the first city program of its kind in the entire nation.

From the Tennessean:
Canadian drugs being urged for TennCare
A coalition of statewide organizations representing the poor, people with disabilities and the elderly is urging Gov. Phil Bredesen to look into buying drugs from Canada as a means of saving the TennCare health-care program.

In a letter to Bredesen, the groups said a series of changes in the program that began four years ago during the administration of Gov. Don Sundquist — what the groups called ''management missteps'' — have had drastic financial results. The letter also said that TennCare should pursue innovative ways to buy prescription medications, perhaps from abroad or in collaboration with other states.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Did you take your pills?
The failure of patients to take their medicines - because of forgetfulness or cost or other reasons - is widespread and is undermining many medical advances.

Patients follow directions only about half the time. Some forget. Others fear side effects, deny they need the medicine, are unsure of the regimen, can't afford them, or have trouble getting to the pharmacy.

From the Berkshire (MA) Eagle:
Local man moves forward with plan for drug service
Kurt Bricault, whose plans to open a Discount Drugs of Canada store at 85 Main St. have generated intense debate in the city, is setting up his business as a corporation and has established a board of directors.

Bricault said earlier this week that he realized soon after the Planning Board postponed a decision about approving a permit for his business that the demand for such a service is stronger than he had first thought.

From the Bloomington (Ill) Pentagraph:
Governor's persistence is prescription for success (editorial)
Gov. Rod Blagojevich may be striking out again in his battle to buy prescription drugs at a cheaper price for the state's 230,000 employees and retirees.

But he deserves credit for keeping the controversial topic alive. Some day, Congress may begin talking about what can be done to lower or keep prescription drug prices down instead of talking about what can't be done.

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