Tuesday, May 31, 2005

State wades into Canadian prescription controversy

From the Reno (Nev.) Gazette Journal:
As a former Plattsburgh, N.Y. resident who lived just 16 miles from Canada, Lynda Bevins still remembers when people from nearby Vermont started crossing the border by the busload to buy their prescription drugs.

“Bernie Sanders, the congressman from Vermont, actually arranged to have busloads of seniors trucked across the border,” said Bevins, who moved to Reno last September. “There was a lot of controversy about that.”...more

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Drug bill sent to governor

From the Fort Worth (Tex.) Star Telegraph:
A bill that would set up a state-run Web site to help Texans buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada is headed to Gov. Rick Perry's desk.

The Senate approved the bill on an unanimous recorded vote Sunday. The bill would allow the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to create a Web site listing approved Canadian prescription drug distributors.

The pharmacy board would be required to inspect up to 10 Canadian pharmacies and make sure they meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Texas and Canada standards as well as safe-shipping codes. Information about the pharmacies and how to order prescription drugs would be listed on the board's Web site. ...more

State Senate guts bill to let Nevadans buy Canadian drugs

From the Las Vegas Sun:
The Nevada Senate voted early Saturday for a bill let Nevadans buy low-priced prescription drugs from Canada online - after gutting it so that a state-run Web site linked to approved pharmacies probably wouldn't get off the ground.

AB195, chiefly sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, would have Nevada join eight other states that allow such purchases. Under the bill, the state would inspect and license Canadian pharmacies and set up the Web site. ...more

Saturday, May 28, 2005

221 House members push for vote on drug importation bill

From the St. Petersburg (FL) Times:
A majority of House members want to consider allowing Americans to import lower-cost prescription drugs from other countries despite fierce opposition from President Bush, the Food and Drug Administration and drugmakers.

The 221 Republicans and Democrats on Thursday sent a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, asking him to schedule a vote on a drug importation bill. ...more

Natives plan to resell Canadian drugs in U.S.

From The Globe and Mail:
Some U.S. native tribes are exploring ways to use their sovereign status to import and resell Canadian prescription drugs, amid warnings from Washington that such shipments will be seized.

At least two Minnesota tribes, Red Lake Nation and White Earth, are working on plans to buy drugs in bulk from Canadian pharmacies despite a federal ban on imported drugs. ...more

Friday, May 27, 2005

Canadian drug bill may face roadblock

From the Houston Chronicle:
Legislation that would help Texans buy less expensive prescription drugs from Canada faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Although the House voted overwhelmingly to add the provision to a sunset bill reauthorizing the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the Senate sponsor of the pharmacy measure said Monday he doesn't know if he will accept the change. ...more

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rudy Giuliani defends report that says Canadian drugs pose threat

From the Canadian Press:
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday defended his report that suggests prescription drug imports into the United States, including those from Canada, pose a threat to Americans.

The April report, commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct a threat assessment of drug imports. "Whatever small percentage that comes through Canada that isn't examined creates a risk and a problem," Giuliani said at a speaking event in Toronto. ...more

Adverse drug reaction database goes online

From CBC News:
Health Canada has made its database of adverse drug reactions available to Canadians in a searchable online format, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh announced in a release on Wednesday.

The move comes 15 months after CBC News made a version of the database available online, following a five-year struggle with Health Canada to obtain the information in database format under Canada's federal Access to Information Act. ...more

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Weaning women off antidepressants in late pregnancy unwarranted risk: experts

From the Canadian Press:
Weaning women off antidepressants known as selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors in the final trimester of pregnancy to protect their babies can be an unwarranted and dangerous practice, experts suggest in a commentary published in a medical journal Tuesday.

The authors, led by the director of The Hospital for Sick Children's Motherisk program, said withdrawal of the medication can put the mental health of mothers at serious risk - potentially jeopardizing their babies in the process. ...more

Risk of side effects from cholesterol drug Crestor higher than believed: study

From the Canadian Press:
Contrary to government claims, side effects happen more often with Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering drug that consumer advocates tried to get off the market earlier this year, a new analysis shows.

The review of leading cholesterol drugs taken by millions of Americans showed that most are very safe and that the risk of serious problems, even with Crestor, are very low. But the latest research seemed to challenge a Food and Drug Administration decision not to pull the drug off the market. ...more

Monday, May 23, 2005

Business finds Meds For You

From the Green Bay (Wisc.) Press-Gazette:
Canadian Meds For You is up and running at 2131 S. Webster Ave., Suite 203.

Leo Loeb of Bellevue and partner Jeff Fibus of Atlanta also own another branch in Atlanta.

Canadian Meds for You isn’t a pharmacy but has access to pharmacies in the United States and Canada.

Loeb says he can shop around for the best possible prices on common maintenance medications.

All that’s needed is a valid prescription from a doctor. ...more

Panel approves prescription drug bill by deadline

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Hours before a deadline for action, a Senate panel voted in favor of a bill to help Nevadans buy lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.

Approval of the Canadian drug importation bill by a 6-1 vote came after Sen. Joe Heck, R-Henderson, won support for an amendment requiring drugs shipped to Nevadans meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards. ...more

Three Canadian drug firms eyed

From the Boston Globe:
Haverhill may join a growing number of Massachusetts communities that have turned to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs for their municipal employees.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said he expects to choose one of three companies to provide municipal workers with prescription drugs from Canada -- a move he expects will save the city about $200,000 a year. ...more

Texas passes bill allowing purchase of prescription drugs from Canada

From the Canadian Press:
Texans could buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada under a bill tentatively approved in the state House of Representatives on Sunday.

"This would provide the safety and the cost savings" for Texas consumers, said Democratic Representative Scott Hochberg who sponsored a measure that would allow the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to create a website listing approved Canadian prescription drug distributors. ...more

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bill lets Nevadans buy Canadian drugs online

From the Las Vegas Sun:
A state Senate panel voted Friday for a bill to have Nevada join eight other states in allowing residents to buy lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada online.

AB195, chiefly sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, and passed by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, would direct the state to inspect and license Canadian pharmacies and set up a Web site for Nevadans. ...more

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Health Canada seeks public input on arthritis drugs

From the Globe and Mail:
For two days next month, Health Canada will open up to the public its discussion on the safety of cox-2 painkillers.

Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh is to announce today that the federal department will host a public forum in Ottawa on June 9 and 10 on the safety of cox-2 drugs, the popular anti-inflammatory medications now tied to heart risks. ...more

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Dosanjh mulling ban on bulk drug exports to U.S.

From CTV.ca:
In order to avert a potential drug shortage in Canada, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said Tuesday that he's considering prohibiting bulk medicine exports south of the border.

"We will certainly look at the possibility of bulk exports to the United States and see if they can be banned," the minister said in an interview with The Canadian Press on Tuesday. ...more

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Pharmacists shun suspect prescriptions

From CBC News:
Some St. John's pharmacists are taking action to prevent abuse of OxyContin, with a few going so far as to refuse filling prescriptions written by physicians they don't trust.

Pharmacist Brian Healey says strangers bearing prescriptions don't get very far at his Casey Street pharmacy.

"If we have a prescription for OxyContin, and we don't know the patient, then we just won't fill it. I just refuse to fill it," Healey says. ...more

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Drug company stockholders reject Minnesota resolution on Canadian pharmacies

From the Canadian Press:
Shareholders at three of the United States' biggest drugmakers have voted down a Minnesota state-sponsored resolution urging them to keep supplies flowing to Canadian pharmacies that cater to American customers.

But the Minnesota Board of Investment's resolution garnered significantly more support than shareholder-sponsored moves usually do. At Pfizer Inc.'s shareholder meeting last Thursday, 28 per cent voted to examine the company's policy of restricting Canadian inventories. ...more

Washington state governor to press for drug imports

From Reuters:
Aiming to cut Washington state's health-care costs, Gov. Christine Gregoire will lobby federal officials and lawmakers to allow imports of prescription drugs, her spokeswoman said on Friday.

Gregoire signed a state bill into law on Thursday that would allow retail pharmacies in the state to import prescription drugs from wholesalers in Canada as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland, but for the state law to take effect, the federal government must first lift its ban on pharmaceutical imports. ...more