Monday, April 05, 2004

New Hampshire governor unveils state Internet link to Canadian pharmacy
Gov. Craig Benson on Monday unveiled a link on the state's official website to a Canadian pharmacy that exports cheaper drugs to the United States.

"I will not stand by and watch our seniors overpay for lifesaving medication," he said. "The pharmaceutical industry has balanced their books on the backs of seniors for too long." David Minnis, spokesman for the New Hampshire Pharmacists Association, said the governor is "putting the state at risk," echoing criticism last week from the Food and Drug Administration.

Jean Coutu to pay $2.38 billion US for 1,538 Eckerd drug stores
Jean Coutu Group of Longueuil, Quebec, will pay $2.38 billion US in cash to buy 1,539 Eckerd drugstores from J.C. Penney Co., the firms announced Monday.

The acquisition will make Jean Coutu the fourth-largest drugstore chain in North America with 2,196 stores.

Jean Coutu Group already owns 332 U.S. drugstores under the Brooks Pharmacy name in six northeastern states. Coutu is the second-biggest Canadian drugstore chain after Shoppers Drug Mart, with more than 320 outlets; most are in Quebec.

From Bloomberg:
New Hampshire Is 3rd State With Canada-Drug Web Site
New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson introduced a Web site to link residents to a Canadian online pharmacy for access to cheaper medicines and information about safety and state programs, the third U.S. governor to do so.

The site has a link to CanadaDrugs.Com, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Last week, a Benson-appointed panel said the pharmacy is a safe source of medicines. A state health department study showed the prescription drugs were identical to U.S. versions. Benson said his Web site, similar to ones in Minnesota and Wisconsin, will help seniors who lack prescription coverage.

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