Friday, April 23, 2004

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Pawlenty makes pitch to Pfizer
When Gov. Tim Pawlenty walked into the Ritz-Carlton hotel Thursday to take part in the Pfizer annual shareholder meeting, there was no mention of "price-gouging," none of the tough talk he often has employed to voice his displeasure with the drug prices paid by American consumers.

Instead, when his turn came to speak, Pawlenty dumped his prepared remarks, opting instead to gently chide Pfizer -- one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies -- for shutting off drug supplies to Canadian pharmacies that supply Minnesota customers and implore it for a chance to "work together" on ways to pressure the federal government to use trade negotiations to lower U.S. prices.

From the Montgomery County (MD) Sentinel:
Council Edges Closer to Canada Drug Imports
The County Council moved one step closer to implementing a prescription drug importation program this week.

A county interagency committee charged last year with studying the issue said on Monday that the council should develop a voluntary drug importation program. The committee estimated that the county could save up to $15 million by purchasing prescription drugs from Canada for its 40,000 current and retired employees.

From the Aberdeen (SD) Daily News:
State's drug benefit plan hasn't crossed border
When South Dakota was seeking bids earlier this year for a new pharmacy benefit manager to run its state employee drug plan, Larry Kucker got a call from a Canadian pharmacy.

Kucker, the state's director of employee benefits, said the offer to save millions of dollars was tempting, but importing drugs from Canada was illegal and South Dakota was not ready to push the envelope.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Are drug imports good medicine?
Idun's Steven Mento recently testified against easing restrictions on cheaper imported medicines.

That hollow rattle, the tap of a few pills inside a near-empty plastic prescription drug bottle, has become a hauntingly familiar sound for the California biotechnology industry.

Hundreds of senior citizens, labor representatives and consumer activists – each with a pill bottle strung around their neck on a ribbon – are rattling their way through state legislative hearings and lawmakers' offices to push a package of bills that aim to rein in soaring prescription drug costs.

No comments: