Saturday, April 10, 2004

From the Toronto Star:
War on drug costs waged on Web
Its origins are modest — a young, small-town pharmacist on the Prairies looking to generate some extra cash by offering savings to Americans trying to kick the habit.

But today, four years after Andrew Strempler began selling over-the-counter Nicorette gum to smokers on eBay, the simple idea is the force behind Canada's burgeoning Internet pharmacy business, shipping cheaper prescription drugs to homes across the U.S.

His success has made him, his partners and others who pioneered the business, wealthy, inspiring dozens of others in an industry expected to top $1 billion (all figures U.S.) in sales this year.

Canada Drug
People in growing numbers, even some governments, are crossing the border into Canada to buy prescription drugs to save money. Yet, despite the shutdown of a similar operation in Watertown, a Sioux Falls business plans to open doors to prescription savings Monday morning.

That business goes by the name of "Canada Drug", we'll tell you why that's important in just a minute. But first a bit about how it works. The company's president tells me it's not a pharmacy and that neither he, nor his Sioux Falls associates, is a pharmacist. The company, however, is closely affiliated with seven licensed pharmacies in Canada, allowing it to pass on big savings to South Dakotans looking for cheaper prescriptions.

From the Wahpeton (ND) Daily News:
State run Canadian drug site concerns pharmacists
Gov. John Hoeven's decision to support prescription drug sites has local pharmacists worried about the safety of ordering drugs through the internet.

Pharmacist Laurie Straus of Wahpeton Drug Store said this plan takes away from the patient/pharmacist relationship.

From the News Observer (NC):
Caldwell County offers employees chance to buy drugs in Canada
Caldwell County commissioners are trying to enlist other governments in their effort to change state and federal laws regarding the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada.

The county has cut its own health care costs by connecting employees with those suppliers, but state and federal agencies say the purchases could expose users to potentially dangerous drugs.

From the New Orleans Times Picayune:
Pharmaceutical interests testify in Baton Rouge
Sen. James David Cain, R-Dry Creek, said he hears it from frustrated constituents every time he goes back to his district.

"I can't go home because people are complaining about the pharmaceutical costs," Cain said.

But three hours of testimony by pharmaceutical interests before the Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday produced little consensus on how to solve a problem that has bedeviled state lawmakers across the country.

From the Charlotte (NC) Observer:
Caldwell County turns to Canada to cut drug costs
Caldwell County is cutting health-care costs by connecting employees with Canadian prescription drug suppliers, but state and federal agencies say the purchases are illegal and expose users to potentially dangerous drugs.

County officials say they're acting to change state and federal laws, which they say keep drug prices artificially high. The officials are trying to enlist other governments in the effort.

From the (Lafayette, LA) Advertiser:
State may start buying drugs from Canada
A Senate committee is “starting the conversation” about allowing 200,000 state employees and their dependents on state group insurance to buy prescription drugs from cheaper Canadian mail-order suppliers as have Minnesota, Wisconsin and several large cities.

American pharmaceutical company lobbyists and Canadian mail-order pharmacy companies debated the issue Wednesday before the Senate Insurance Committee, which took no action. But Sen. James David Cain, D-Dry Creek, said he arranged for the discussion “because I get hit with this everywhere I go.”

From the Newport News (OR) Times:
Canada Drug Supply closes doors following threat of prosecution
The threat of closure started only a week after Daryl Jané opened Canada Drug Supply last October. On Friday, the other shoe dropped and Jané closed his doors.

Canada Drug Supply connected clients to a large Canadian pharmacy so they could purchase prescription drugs directly from Canada. The savings are usually about 50 to 75 percent, depending on the drug.

Last month, the Oregon State Board of Pharmacy shut down a similar business called Canada Drug Service in Tigard. The state subpoenaed the business' records and threatened to levy heavy fines if it did not cease operation. The owners, Glen and Diane Bremer, signed an agreement that spared them prosecution if they closed their business.

From the Grand Forks (ND) Herald:
North Dakota Tackles Drug Cost Issue
A state Web site to help residents find cheaper medicines in North Dakota and Canada should help pressure the federal Food and Drug Administration to change its stance against reimportation of prescription drugs, Gov. John Hoeven says.

The site directs users to three programs, including a North Dakota preferred drug list and two Canadian Internet pharmacies. It is superior to sites from other states that only have links to Canadian companies, Hoeven said.

No comments: