Sunday, July 16, 2006

US Senate votes to end seizures of Canadian drugs

I think it's rather unlikely that this will ever pass through all the levels of the American government, but the Senate did approve a bill allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada. It might simply be a move by some politicians to win points with the electorate in the American mid-term elections. Regardless, I don't think prescription drugs will be the hot button topic it was in the 2004 campaign.

From the Washington Post:
U.S. customs and border security agents would be banned from seizing prescription drugs that Americans import from Canada under a measure passed by the Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 68-32 in favor of the provision, with supporters saying the federal government should stay out of the way of Americans seeking cheaper medicines in Canada for personal use. Many Americans import prescription drugs from abroad even though the practice is illegal. ...more

It looks like the Canadian government is greeting the news with a yawn. There are some Liberals that are talking about it, but their focus seems to be more about trying to pin a conflict of interest charge on the health minister as opposed to the issue itself. Cross border pharmacy has largely dropped off the radar for the Canadian public. Remember the days when it was a staple of the nightly news and in the newspaper regularly? That seems like a long time ago.

From the Globe and Mail:
The federal government is unconcerned about a move by the U.S. Senate to end a ban on the import of cheap Canadian pharmaceuticals, but a former Liberal health minister says the proposal threatens the drug supply in this country.

And another Liberal suggests the reluctance of Health Minister Tony Clement to act on the file may be linked to the fact that his former communications aide is now head of the organization that represents on-line pharmacists who sell much of their product to Americans. ...more

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