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04/21/04 New York Newsday Fresh push to legalize imported drugs

WASHINGTON -- The move to legalize the importation of prescription drugs from Canada appeared to gain momentum yesterday as the chairman of the key Senate health committee vowed to introduce a bill within the next few weeks.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he will introduce a measure after the Memorial Day recess. Last month, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Finance Committee, proposed a bill to legalize importation.

With seniors complaining of skyrocketing drug costs and elections looming, pressure is mounting for lawmakers to drive down prices and support reciprocation. Even federal Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who opposes reciprocation, recently acknowledged that it is all but inevitable that Congress will pass a bill this year.
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05/13/04 Minnesota Public Radio State employees can order drugs from Canada for free

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he's taking the next step on the issue of drug reciprocation. A plan Pawlenty announced Thursday would allow Minnesota's 120,000 state employees to get certain drugs at no cost to them -- if they buy from a Canadian Internet pharmacy. He says the employees and the state will save a significant amount of money on drug costs. Minnesota is the first state in the nation to take such action. But critics say the action is illegal and will have a short shelf life. Click Here to read a complete article

05/09/04 Portland Press Herald: Push is on for affordable imports of prescription drugs

WASHINGTON - Congress is exploring ways to loosen the rules on importing drugs from Canada and other countries amid growing political pressure for the federal government to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. For years elderly and uninsured Mainers have traveled across the border to Canada to buy drugs at prices that in some cases are less than half of what they'd pay in the United States. But the travelers can shuttle back only enough for six months of personal use.

Congress has twice approved importation so long as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration certifies the foreign drugs are safe. But U.S. health officials warn that they can't protect against irregular doses or counterfeit drugs in a system they don't oversee. Drug makers and their allies in Congress contend that forcing down prices would curb innovative research into new medication. Click Here to read the entire article.

05/08/04 Associated Press: Ban on Canadian drugs challenged

DENVER (AP) - An Oklahoma company that was shut down for helping Americans buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada asked a federal appeals court Friday to let it resume operations.

Rx Depot Inc. also asked the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments in the case because of the "significant public policy implications" for the elderly and poor.

A federal judge in Oklahoma ordered the company to close its 85 storefronts in November, ruling it was violating a federal law that allows only manufacturers to bring their drugs back into the United States. Click Here to read the enire article.

05/06/04 Bennigton Banner Douglas stumps for Canadian drugs

WASHINGTON -- Gov. James Douglas volunteered Vermonters to be the guinea pigs in a pilot program for importing cheaper Canadian prescription medications.

"Given our relatively small population and our proximity to the border, approval of our petition would allow Vermont to serve as a model for the rest of the nation," Douglas said in prepared testimony before a federal task force exploring the feasibility of drug re-importation.

Douglas urged panelists, including Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, to open the Canadian pharmaceutical market in an attempt to lower consumer drug costs. Douglas said his administration has already crafted a model for managing drug re-importation and is petitioning for its approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

"Notwithstanding the complexity of this market, one thing is very clear: Vermonters, and indeed all Americans, are not getting the lower cost options they need and deserve," added Douglas, a Republican.

Douglas' testimony comes just days after Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson conceded that legal drug re-importation is likely to become a reality in the near future. Click Here to read the entire article.

05/04/2004 Plain Dealer Reporter Prescription cost cutting : is relentless task for wife

Herb takes 20 pills a day. He also needs inhalation therapy in the morning and eve ning. Only a frac tion of the cost of this $8,000-a-year prescription drug arsenal is covered by the Kleimans' private Medicare supplement plan. So the Shaker Heights couple has been shouldering the burden almost alone. They have been drawing from a retirement package they intended to use to pay for post-retirement vacations, tuition assistance for their four grandchildren and other living expenses. Berenice has also turned herself into the prescription drug equivalent of a hard-core coupon-clipper.

She buys through Canadian pharmacies, U.S. mail-order companies, even her local Tops pharmacy. If they are available, the Kleimans try to buy generics over name brands because the difference in cost can be considerable. Click Here to read the enire article.

4/27/04 Norwich Bulletin, CT Seniors demand answers on Medicare drug benefit

NORWICH -- Lee Dupont pays out of pocket for the prescription drugs she needs to treat acid reflux disease, cholesterol problems and high blood pressure.

"It's an expensive proposition," the 78-year-old Norwich resident said Monday, adding she spends "quite a few hundred dollars" a month on prescriptions.

Medicare's new prescription drug cards may provide her some relief. But first she must endure a complicated process of figuring out which of the cards is best for her.

She joined 300 other people -- most of them elderly -- at a forum on Medicare's drug coverage at the Rose City Senior Center. Click Here to read the entire article.

4/26/04 Aberdeen News, SD Is reimportation coming? It's looking good

There may be light at the end of the tunnel for those bogged down in a financial mire by the high cost of prescription drugs.

Legislation is gathering steam in Congress to allow the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada and other countries. The legislation will also get the government involved in enforcing safety measures that opponents currently use to justify their stance against such re-importation.

Both houses of Congress have passed bills legalizing reimportation in the past, but bickering - sometimes used as a convenient excuse to prevent passage of legislation loved by voters but hated by lobbyists - prevented a new law from being made. This year the pressure is coming from the voters, not the lobbyists.

04/19/2004 NEWSDAY, NY The pfight to 'Pfix Pfizer'

Seniors protest after company cuts off supply to Canadian pharmacies, seek to legalize reimportation

WASHINGTON - A few months ago, Pfizer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, cut off supplies to wholesalers selling its drugs to Canadian pharmacies or Internet sites that sold to Americans, mostly, seniors seeking cheaper drugs.

Senior groups retaliated urging their members to boycott Pfizer's over-the-counter products, which include Sudafed, Benadryl and Rolaids.

On Thursday, seniors will ratchet up their campaign to "Pfix Pfizer" as dozens gather to protest outside Pfizer's headquarters in Manhattan and at the company's annual meeting in St. Louis.

"We're trying to change Pfizer's pricing policy," said Lani Sanjek, associate director of the New York Statewide Senior Action Council. "They shouldn't be hurting Americans who have turned to Canadian sources. They shouldn't be cutting them off from access to affordable medications." Click Here to read the entire article.

04/19/2004 Associated Press Massachusetts City Saves $2M on Canadian Drugs

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Springfield has saved about $2 million over the past nine months by buying prescription drugs from Canada for city workers and retirees, the head of the program said Monday. Chris Collins, the city's insurance director, said about 3,000 of the 20,000 city employees, retirees and their dependents are participating in the voluntary program. Last July, the cash-strapped city became the nation's first to turn to cheaper Canadian drugs for its health plan. ``I am hoping more people will take advantage of this and savings will increase,'' said Mayor Charles Ryan. ``It's in everyone's best interest.'' Click Here to read the entire article.

3/16/2004 Associated Press: AARP Will Lobby for Canadian Drugs

The nation's largest seniors group has launched a campaign to make cheaper Canadian drugs available to Americans. The 35 million-member AARP says it'll lobby drug companies, Congress and the Bush administration to legalize the imports. The group also is running television and newspaper ads nationwide. Click Here to read the whole article.

4/15/2004 The Journal Times, Racine, Wisconsin Doyle reaffirms Canadian drug idea

Governor Jim Doyle told a federal task force on Wednesday that the federal government should allow citizens to import prescription drugs from Canada, and that it should allow states to do so, too. "I told them about the success of the (state's) Web site, the over 70,000 hits that we've had on it, which just demonstrates the enormous interest out there in lower prescription drugs, and how important it is that we do something to put some real competition into the marketplace here so that the drug companies cannot continue to just impose skyrocketing costs on citizens of Wisconsin and the United States," Doyle said. He spoke in a teleconference with reporters shortly after delivering his testimony. Click Here to read the entire article.

03/15/2004    Seattle Times:     Seattle to look at Canadian drugs

The rising cost of prescription drugs is giving the city of Seattle a pain in the budget. Some city leaders believe they've found a remedy: getting city workers to buy their medicines from Canada, where prices average 30 to 80 percent less for many drugs. Springfield, Mass., was the first city in this country to put in place such a program. The former mayor of the Bay State's third-largest city has this advice for Seattle: Go for it. Click Here to read the whole article.

3/14/2004 Boston Globe: City May Import Medicines / Canadian drugs could save up to $2.4 million

Pressed by surging health care costs, officials in Newton are gingerly taking steps toward defying federal law and importing prescription drugs from Canada for city employees. The program could be implemented within months and could save the city an estimated $2.4 million next year. Under the plan being discussed, the money would be divided between the city and the schools, providing a financial windfall for cash-strapped departments. Click Here to read the entire story

3/13/04 Associated Press White House, GOP forced to take new look at Canadian drugs

The Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders are being forced to take a hard new look at the idea of importing cheaper prescription drugs from foreign countries as an election-year clamor grows for removing prohibitions. WASHINGTON - Continuing increases in prescription drug prices - the fastest growing item in health care - and the pitched partisan battle over the new Medicare law have given the topic greater prominence in Congress and on the campaign trail.

AARP, the 35-million-member seniors' group that gave Republican-backed Medicare legislation a critical endorsement last year, backs allowing imports. So do two Republican senators, former GOP leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and John Cornyn of Texas, both changing their position in recent days. And so do nearly two-thirds of Americans, according to a recent AP poll.


McCain pushes for import of Canadian pharmaceuticals - Support is growing, including from Arizona Sen. John McCain, to allow for the importation of less-expensive Canadian prescription drugs into the U.S. The McCain-chaired Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held hearings on the matter Thursday. The McCain panel grilled the Bush administration's choice to run the Medicare and Medicaid systems over opposition to drug-importation plans. Click Here to read the whole story.

Senator Jerry Cooper (D-Morrison) continued his push for a pilot program of importing prescription drugs from Canada. Cooper said such a program could result in significant savings for Tennesseans. "Prescription drug costs are rising at an alarming rate," Cooper said. "It's not unusual to see double-digit increases in prescription drug prices from year-to-year. What's truly shocking is that Americans pay far more for the same drug as citizens in Canada and other countries around the world. Tennessee citizens should be paying a fair price for prescription drugs. We need to explore every possible option for lowering drug costs." Click Here to read the whole story.

January 27, 2004 TIME Magazine
How the clamor for cheap Canadian imports is heating up the 2004 campaign and giving Washington a headache

January 22, 2004
Senator says buying Canadian drugs could save California millions

January 22, 2004 Associated Press
Kerry favors importing cheaper Canadian drugs

January 22, 2004 KCRG-TV9
Governor Pushes Pilot Program on Cheaper Canadian Drugs

January 21, 2004 The Sacramento Bee
Lawmakers look north for savings on prescriptions

January 20, 2004 Contra Costa Times
Canadian pharmacy deals look good to legislators

January 12, 2004 Advanstar Communications, Inc.

NABP pushes for cross border pharmacy regulation

January 8, 2004

The war on affordable drugs

June 21, 2003

Senate Votes to Allow Importing of Prescription Drugs From Canada

The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to let pharmacists import prescription drugs from Canada and resell them in the United States, so consumers here could benefit from lower Canadian prices.

It was the second time in less than a year that the Senate had taken such a stand. But the proposal is contingent on a finding that the imports would pose no risk to public health, and the Bush administration has made clear that it will not issue such a finding.

May 8, 2003

Canada to Guarantee Imported Medicine - Washington Post

The Canadian government has officially said that it will be responsible for
the safety and quality of the large and growing flow of prescription drugs
across the border to American consumers, a clarification long sought by U.S.

In an official document posted late last week, the Canadian health ministry
said all imported drugs must be equally safe and effective whether they are
for use by Canadians or for export.

April 1, 2002

Drug spending up 17 percent - Washington Post

March 13, 2002

Drugstores Threaten to End Medicaid Service

June 12, 2001 reported that costs for the 50 most commonly used prescription drugs used by senior citizens on average rose more than twice the rate of inflation in the year ended January 2001. With skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs in America today, services such as Affordable RX, Inc. are much needed to offset the cost of medication on to U.S. consumers. Click here for the full story.

December 27, 2000

Clinton Administration Stops Congressional Bill


Seattle Times News Article Published:

The closer she looked, the odder it seemed - a dinky white pill that cost $3. But what really threw Nancy Pitarys for a loop was discovering she could buy her pill for a fraction of the cost just two hours north of her Bellevue home - in Canada.

Pitarys, 57, was paying $90 a month for a supply of tamoxifen, a drug that helps prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. Pitarys, who has limited insurance coverage, was shocked to discover on a trip to Canada that she could buy the same supply of medicine there for $11.

Caught your interest yet? Click here for more...


Informational Article Published:
A NEW PRESCRIPTION DRUG REIMPORTATION LAW IS ENACTED. On October 28, 2000, President Clinton signed into law legislation permitting the reimportation into the United States of certain prescription drug products manufactured in the United States which have been exported to a foreign country. Click here for the full story.

July 19, 2000

Senate Approves Bill to Legalize Import Of Prescription Drugs

July 11, 2000

House Votes to protect personal prescription mail order

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