Friday, March 26, 2004

From the Canadian Press:
Internet pharmacies say they're willing to move to U.S. or expand in Canada
Internet pharmacies could move parts of their operation to the United States, or turn their attention to serving remote areas of Canada, to outmanoeuvre industry opponents, a conference heard Thursday.

The suggestions were just two of several possible scenarios discussed during an informal debate that concluded a two-day Internet pharmacy conference. "The industry will evolve and grow," said Mark Lazar, chief executive of Calgary-based

Online pharmacy biz becomes a magnet for fraud
Major players in Canada's online pharmacies are meeting in Winnipeg this week to discuss the problem of rogue websites that are threatening their $4-billion business.

David MacKay, executive director of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, says there's an emerging trend in bogus websites are pretending to be Canadian, but are actually selling American drugs.

From the Toronto Star:
Prescriptions up 8 per cent, largest increase in a decade
Canadian women have drastically cut back on hormone replacement therapy.

And Americans are flocking in record numbers to get cheaper Canadian drugs through the Internet.

These trends are documented in a new report released yesterday by the medical research firm IMS.

Canadians filled 361 million prescriptions at retail pharmacies last year — up 8 per cent from the year before and the largest yearly increase in 10 years. In total, we spent $15.9 billion on prescription drugs, averaging 11 prescriptions per Canadian, according to the report.

Change packages to prevent deadly drug mixups: pharmacist
Drug packaging needs to be changed to prevent drug mixups like the ones earlier this winter that killed two Calgary hospital patients, says a medication advisory group.

The two patients at Foothills Hospital died after being given potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride while receiving dialysis treatment.

From the (New Hampshire) Union Leader:
Benson stays mum on
Canadian drug report

Gov. Craig Benson said yesterday he did not talk to federal Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson about reimporting Canadian drugs on Wednesday, nor did he show him a report indicating the drugs are safe.

The report — which describes how Canadian and U.S. drug samples were sent to New Hampshire’s state crime laboratory for testing and no differences in chemical composition were detected — came to light Wednesday.

From the Lowell (Mass.) Sun:
Lowell board drops idea of buying drugs from Canada idea
The School Committee received a second legal opinion last night advising against the city's involvement in a Canadian drug purchasing program.

The opinion, prepared by Assistant City Solicitor Maria Sheehy, effectively halted city officials' inquiry into the matter.

"I think (the idea) is kind of dead," said School Committee member John Leahy, who had included a motion on last night's agenda that the City Council investigate the matter.

From the Montreal Gazette:
New drugs for impotence act faster, last longer
It's 15 minutes to liftoff with one, and you can go all weekend long with the other. That sums up the two newest competitors to Viagra, one of which was approved for use in Canada 10 days ago.

The latest pill to treat erectile dysfunction is called Levitra, and its makers, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Glaxo Smith Kline, say it goes to work in 15 minutes - less than half the time for Viagra.

From the Toronto Star:
Mood drugs: Harming or helping our children?
Antidepressants may be linked to teen suicides

Health Canada demands stronger label warnings

From SF Gate:
Drug prices -- Balancing profits and responsibility (opinion)
A political tide is turning in Washington. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., at one time fiercely opposed to the purchase of drugs from Canada, proclaimed this month during a Senate hearing that "I cannot explain to my mother any longer why she should pay twice or two-thirds more than what is paid in Canada and Mexico. I'm switching my position."

Lott is not alone. The re-importation of prescription drugs has recently gained broad support from Democrats and Republicans alike. Why are so many lawmakers suddenly switching sides? Have images of senior citizens flocking by the busload to Canada and Mexico to purchase drugs finally jarred their sensibilities?

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