Tuesday, October 05, 2004

From US News and World Report:
The Senate ties itself in knots over cheaper drugs from Canada
Given the odorously partisan nature of the national political climate, it is something of a stunner to find an issue that can live up to any claim of bipartisan support. But after a long-running battle, a surprising consensus has emerged in Congress around a controversial effort to allow individuals and businesses to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where they are generally cheaper than in the United States.

What other issue can bring liberals like Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton together with conservatives like Trent Lott and contrarians like John McCain? "The reason this is so popular in Congress is that it is so popular in the country," says Barry Piatt, a top aide to Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, who is spearheading the effort to legalize drug importation. A recent survey of Medicare recipients showed 79 percent of them supported changing the rules to allow Americans to buy cheaper drugs in other countries, chiefly Canada.

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