Thursday, April 22, 2004

From the Boston Globe:
Senators seek to legalize drug imports from Canada
A group of Democrats and moderate Republicans in the US Senate plans to introduce a bill today that would permit the immediate importation of prescription drugs from Canada and later from Europe, reflecting a growing movement in Congress to make the practice legal.

Among the five sponsors is Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Democrat whose opposition helped to gut similar legislation last year after it had won approval in the House.

Kennedy changed his position after he failed to reach a compromise on Medicare legislation last year and wound up as one of the biggest critics of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. He has said he opposed the previous bill because he did not believe the House measure contained enough safety provisions. If it can be done safely, he has said, then he is in favor.

From Reuters:
Bipartisan Senate Team Unveils Drug Import Bill
Leading U.S. senators on Wednesday unveiled a bipartisan bill that would let Americans import cheaper U.S.-approved prescription drugs from abroad.

Individuals would be able to buy 90-day supplies of medicines for personal use from qualified Canadian pharmacies. Larger commercial shipments to wholesalers or pharmacies would be limited to Canada for the first year and then expand to approved industrialized nations, including European Union members, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Dayton protests inspection of 'Rx Express' bus by FDA
Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., wrote to Food and Drug Administration officials Wednesday to protest an FDA inspection of an "Rx Express" bus of seniors returning from a trip to Canada last fall to buy prescription drugs.

"Until the FDA action, those trips were unimpeded by Customs or other federal officials," Dayton wrote in a letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford. "The FDA officials' inspection was extremely stressful to some of the elderly riders and has caused alarm among prospective riders."

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