Friday, April 23, 2004

From the Olympian (WA):
Bill would clear way for imports of Canadian drugs
Some of the estimated 1.5 million U.S. residents who rely on Canadian mail-order pharmacies for discounts on brand-name drugs are being referred to Great Britain because drug companies are restricting supplies.

But a bipartisan Senate bill unveiled Wednesday would make it an illegal restraint of trade for pharmaceutical companies to limit supplies as a way of undercutting burgeoning sales from Canada to the United States.

From the Contra Costa (CA) Times:
Senators reconsider medication imports
In an effort to drive down the cost of prescription drugs, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a measure Wednesday that would legalize the importation of cheaper medicines from Canada and eventually from European countries.

"This is a huge breakthrough," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

From Minnesota Public Radio:
Pfizer shareholders reject Pawlenty's prescription plea
Shareholders reacted coolly to a proposed resolution that would've limited Pfizer's drug price increases to the rate of inflation. Ninety-five percent of the shareholders who voted at the meeting opposed the proposal. Nevertheless, Pawlenty says he'll continue to push Pfizer to change its business practices.

If the company won't lower its prices in the U.S., he wants Americans to be able to import their prescriptions from elsewhere. Pawlenty has championed a state Web site that helps Minnesotans fill prescriptions at two Canadian pharmacies, where government price controls keep costs down. In response, Pfizer has limited sales to wholesalers involved in cross-border sales. Pawlenty says the company's resistance to go along with reimportation could hurt Pfizer in the long run.

From In Forum (ND):
Senate support grows for drug imports
A coalition of U.S. senators on Wednesday offered new legislation aimed at ensuring the safety of lower-cost drugs "re-imported" from Canada and other countries.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is active in a bipartisan effort to regulate the importation of prescription drugs from Canada so U.S. consumers can buy medicine – often at steep discounts – with confidence.

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