Friday, December 31, 2004

Re-importation - time to take sides?

Not so much on the drug safety issue recently in the press. Instead, we have found several pieces relating to re-importation from Canada.

The Washington Post has an article by financial writer Steven Pearlstein that blasts the recent Bush Administration report on drug prices. Among other things, it asks the simple question, if you defend our prices on the idea that they help subsidize R&D for the world, then should why should there be any policy to help lower drug prices?

Rhode Island became the latest state to approve re-importation of drugs from Canada. The testimony for the state Health Department included a reference to the USA Today article that described greater reluctance on the part of Canadians, including Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, to subsidize our drug bill. Apparently, when drug re-importation becomes a matter of state policy rather than an individual act, there is puch-back from the suppliers.

We have actually been eagerly awaiting this development, since push-back from Canada will force lawmakers to stop trying to placate the few loudest grey-haired types, and find a way to give us all real relief from this industry boot on our throats.

Anybody notice that the $35 million aid package announced by Colin Powell is $5 million less than the Republicans are planning to spend on inaugeral festivities?

Please take a moment to lend a hand to those who are suffering from the tsunami. We think that the extent of this tragedy may not be known for quite some time, and the death tolls updated daily on the news are gross under-representations. You can donate here or here.

We hope your new year is healthy, and may you have unlimited access to your pain control of choice. We will be spending the evening with friends in an orgy of fondue and fellowship. May your evening be safe and enjoyable.

No comments: