Wednesday, December 17, 2003

From USA Today:
Who gets to prescribe?
A group of psychologists seeking the legal right to prescribe drugs has announced it is bypassing U.S. doctors and routing prescriptions through Canadian doctors and pharmacies.

The National Society of Clinical Psychopharmacologists (NSCP) says its roughly 1,000 members, who hold doctorates in psychology and have 300 hours or more of post-doctoral pharmacology training, will have Canadian doctors review cases and countersign prescriptions for mental health drugs. They'll work with a Canadian supplier that will mail drugs to U.S. patients at cut-rate costs.

Group is the latest to try to obtain cheaper drugs from Canada
The move by a group of psychologists to prescribe drugs through Canadian doctors represents another skirmish in the battle to get cheaper drugs.

Federal law prevents importing prescription drugs meant for sale outside the USA. But because other countries set price controls, cost-conscious U.S. residents have traveled to Canada or Mexico for years and brought back their own supplies. The practice is technically illegal, but the Food and Drug Administration mainly has looked the other way and allowed residents to bring small quantities of drugs over the border.

The FDA consistently has said it would not prosecute Grandma or Grandpa for buying their drugs in Canada.

In recent months, however, the FDA has moved to close down commercial businesses that assist residents in purchasing drugs from Canada, winning a court case in November against Oklahoma-based Rx Depot.

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