Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wisconsin Elderly: Don't Count On Your Prescriptions from Canada Anymore

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) released figures yesterday that show US customs officials have secretly seized around 13,000 prescription drug packages from Canada since Medicare Part D went into effect last November.

According to a LA Times article:

"The customs crackdown in effect reverses a long-standing policy of the Food and Drug Administration to allow individuals to receive medications for personal use from reputable Canadian pharmacies, even though it is illegal to order drugs from abroad.

The unannounced effort has provoked an uproar among seniors and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who complain that it has deprived people of their medications without warning.

Several members of Congress want an investigation into whether the effort was timed to help the Bush administration's Medicare drug program. The crackdown began Nov. 17, two days after the Medicare program was launched."

Hmmm. A government program goes into effect that will put millions of dollars in the pockets of American pharmaceutical companies, and just a couple days later the US customs service starts secretly seizing thousands of prescription drug packages from Canada.

Quite the coincidence.

The fact is the prescription drugs seniors can get from reputable Canadian pharmacies are still often cheaper than the ones they could get through Medicare Part D since providers don't have the ability under the law to negotiate prices with American pharmaceutical companies.

Apparently that makes no difference to the White House and the conservative Republican legislators who pushed this plan through Congress. They prefer to see their special interest Big Pharma buddies get paid.


Blogger Robola said...

Just wait until the donut effect begins. The gap in drug coverage between certain dollar amounts will make a lot of seniors crankier than they might already be :)

March 09, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Good point. The good times have just started to roll for Big Pharma.

March 10, 2006  

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