Friday, May 11, 2007

Re-importation of drugs from Canada is a bust

But you'd never know it from the US Congress.

Many of the very senators who supported or co-sponsored Ms. Snowe's amendment to change federal law and allow Canadian imports hail from states that have seen their own high-profile programs wither or die. That includes Wisconsin's Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, Missouri's Claire McCaskill and Dick Durbin of Illinois

Re-importation has not been a success in States where it's been tried.

Three years ago, grandstanding governors and mayors vowed to break federal law and set up state-run drug import programs, giving millions of citizens the "opportunity" to buy cheap Canadian drugs. The media showered these souls with headlines, praised them for being on the side of poor, strapped U.S. consumers--then forgot all about it. Today, most state-import programs are on life support, while some have closed completely. Never mind all Washington's hifalutin arguments about intellectual property, free trade and safety; the overwhelming majority of Americans appear to have little use for import programs that offer few drugs at long wait times, under suspect safety conditions and with minimal savings.

I could never quite figure out how sending pharmaceuticals on a round trip to Canada would lower prices. It seems to me, yes, stupid.

Naturally, the United States Congress enjoys posing as the friend of the consumer and the enemy of Big, Bad Pharma. As long as nothing changes.

A thought that often occurs to me: If these are the people who won the election, how bad could the ones who lost it be? We elected the better person, didn't we? Didn't we?

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