Friday, April 23, 2004

From Bloomberg:
New Hampshire Governor Hasn't Shown Drug Imports Safe, FDA Says
New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson, who is encouraging sales of pharmaceuticals from Canada to cut patients' costs, has yet to demonstrate that the imports are safe, a U.S. government health official said.

Benson, a Republican, ordered tests of six imported prescriptions before setting up a Web site this month that guides state residents to Internet pharmacies that sell pills from Canada, where prices are controlled. The tests showed the drugs contained the appropriate active ingredients, Benson said.

From the Boston Globe:
US Senate drug bill would set worldwide marketplace
A drug importation bill filed yesterday in the US Senate would set up a vast international marketplace for prescription medicine as part of an effort to loosen the drug industry's grip on supplies available to American consumers.

Under an importation oversight system that would be established by the Senate bill, American consumers could legally get drugs from not just from Canada but some 22 other countries, including members of the European Union, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

From the Puget Sound (Wash.) Business Journal:
Seattle Council committee approves study of Canadian drug plan
A Seattle City Council committee has approved a resolution that -- if adopted by the full council -- would allow a study of the idea of letting city employees buy prescription drugs in Canada.

The controversial idea has been percolating for several weeks as the city grapples with major funding cuts. Drugs bought in Canada often cost 30 percent to 50 percent less than in the United States.

From the Quincy (Ill.) Herald Whig:
Pharmacists say plan to import drugs from Europe problematic
Quincy area pharmacists say Gov. Rod Blagojevich's call for importing medicine from Europe is political posturing meant to distract people from some of the state's failed efforts to help the poor or elderly buy medicine.

Blagojevich announced at a press conference Tuesday that if a study he commissioned shows it is safe and cheaper to buy drugs from Europe, then the state might be morally obligated to import prescription drugs, even though that violates federal law.

Blagojevich has called on federal officials to lift restrictions that keep people from ordering drugs from Canada.

From Medical News Today (UK):
Drug prices in Canada start to rise as a result of US demand shortages reported
For the first time in many years drug prices in Canada have started to rise, many say this is due to demand from the USA. Some Canadian pharmacists are saying they are spending much more time now sourcing drugs than they did a few years ago (sourcing drugs = getting their supplies).

From the Chicago Sun Times:
Illinois may help you buy prescription drugs in Europe
Illinois might join Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Hampshire by setting up a Web site to help residents buy prescription drugs from Canada and -- in what would be a first-of-its-kind cost-saving measure -- from Europe.

Gov. Blagojevich raised the possibility Tuesday in announcing he's sending a team of about a half-dozen state officials across the Atlantic for two weeks to study the safety of drugs and pharmacies in several European countries.

From the Bennington (VT) Banner:
Canada drug trade could soon be legal
The wall that keeps Vermonters from buying cheaper prescription drugs from Canada may be starting to crumble.

A leading Senate Republican filed legislation this month legalizing the purchase of Canadian pharmaceuticals, and a bipartisan group of senators, led by Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., will add an additional bill today aimed at opening the pharmaceutical markets of industrialized countries to U.S. consumers.

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