Saturday, March 13, 2004

From the Seattle Times:
GOP can't ignore push for importing cheaper drugs
The Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders are being forced to take a hard, new look at the idea of importing cheaper prescription drugs from foreign countries as an election-year clamor grows for removing prohibitions.

Continuing increases in prescription-drug prices — the fastest-growing item in health care and up 15.3 percent in 2002 alone — and the pitched partisan battle over the new Medicare law have given the topic greater prominence in Congress and on the campaign trail.

From the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press:
WASHINGTON: Coleman wants a warning on drug site
Minnesota's drug Web site should warn consumers that "the integrity of the drugs purchased through this program cannot be assured," U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., wrote Thursday in a letter to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

At the same time, however, Coleman offered his first real praise for the MinnesotaRXConnect Web site, calling it "a valuable resource." The state-sponsored Web site helps Minnesotans buy lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada — a practice that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says breaks the law.

From the Tullahoma (Tenn.) News:
Cooper Continues Push for Canadian Drugs
Senator Jerry Cooper (D-Morrison) continued his push for a pilot program of importing prescription drugs from Canada. Cooper said such a program could result in significant savings for Tennesseans.

"Prescription drug costs are rising at an alarming rate," Cooper said. "It's not unusual to see double-digit increases in prescription drug prices from year-to-year. What's truly shocking is that Americans pay far more for the same drug as citizens in Canada and other countries around the world. Tennessee citizens should be paying a fair price for prescription drugs. We need to explore every possible option for lowering drug costs."

From the Sebastian (Fla.) Sun:
Business profile: CanadaRx USA opens in Sebastian
For at least a year, Fred Ganz's elderly mother used to travel to Canada by bus from Rhode Island to purchase discounted prescription drugs. She could not afford to do it any other way.

Ganz decided there had to be an easier way for his mother and hundreds of other consumers to get discounted prescription drugs, so he decided to open a mail order processing center that would make it possible to purchase drugs from Canada at discounts up to 85 percent.

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