Monday, August 23, 2004

From the Lawrence (KS) Journal World:
State may offer help to obtain Canadian drugs
Kansas isn't ready to provide inexpensive -- but illegal -- prescription drugs from Canada despite a growing movement by other states to do so.

But officials in Topeka said last week they might be willing to enable Kansans to make an end run around federal law by setting up a Web site that would show people how to independently obtain such drugs.

"I think we're considering that," said Bob Day, an adviser helping Gov. Kathleen Sebelius develop a policy to address the high cost of prescription drugs. "We just have to look at how that's set up."

Imports worry Lawrence pharmacist
Canadian prescription drugs might seem like the cure for what ails the pocketbook, but Tom Wilcox isn't so sure.

Wilcox, owner of Round Corner Drug, 801 Mass., said he was frustrated that the federal government wasn't doing more to block illegal importation of prescription drugs.

"I've had patients import controlled substances from Pakistan," Wilcox said. "There's very little done to regulate importation from a foreign country."

Wilcox trained for six years to become a pharmacist. By contrast, he said, a relative in Iowa with a high school education has set up a lucrative business importing Canadian drugs.

"The FDA has no control in these countries. We lose control of how the drugs are handled," Wilcox said.

"They're probably safe, but the portal is open, and the more we use drugs from other countries, the more we lose control over the process," he said. "I think there's potential down the road for problems to exist."

Online pharmacies full of risks, rewards
If you need a prescription filled, be careful before ordering from an online pharmacy.

We all know that the price of prescription drugs is enough to give you a headache, but don't be so eager to get a price break that you end up with counterfeit drugs, advises the National Consumers League.

According to a survey recently released by NCL, most consumers purchasing prescription drugs by using the Internet don't know how to tell whether the drugs they get are legitimate. The online survey of 1,013 adults ages 18 and older, conducted by Opinion Research Corp. in May, found that more than half of those surveyed believe there is no way to tell if a prescription drug sold online is real or counterfeit.

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