Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cherokees look into mail-order-medicine business

It's been a while since a specific American group has made public noise about buying Canadian drugs. This story is a bit different because the Cherokee tribe argues that they are a soverign nation and not subject to regular American laws. I'm hardly an expert when it comes to these type of matters, but I suspect the big problem they would have is that the Cherokee would want to sell to the general public. That would give the state pharmacy board the jurisdiction to do something about it. We'll see if this actually goes anywhere, but keep in mind that a tribe in Maine tried something similar a while back and never went ahead with a Canadian option.

From the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times:
Cherokee leaders are scouting the moneymaking potential of a business venture other tribes have found lucrative: selling discount prescription drugs by mail.

They might also import less expensive pharmaceuticals from Canada for a future business that could fill prescriptions for tribal members and for people who live far beyond the boundaries of Cherokee land in the mountains of western North Carolina.

But that would set up an age-old conflict between a tribe that argues it has the rights of a sovereign nation that exempt it from federal laws and federal health officials who say selling Canadian drugs in the United States is illegal and, perhaps, unsafe.

"We've definitely looked at the Canada option," said Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. "That definitely could go under sovereignty." ...more

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