FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2004
Consumers Association Asks Canadian Health Ministers to Respond to Concerns About Impact of Americans Purchasing Prescription Drugs From Canadian Pharmacies
Ottawa, August 30, 2004 “Canada’s medicare system, which includes low cost prescription drugs, may be threatened by Americans taking advantage of our scheme”, said Mr. Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada.
Many Americans are looking to Canada to solve the US problem of high cost prescription drugs”, said Mr. Cran. The situation in the US has escalated to the point where major US states such as Illinois are setting up a state wide system to enable their 12 million citizens to import prescription drugs from Canada. In addition, the City of Boston has set up a formal program to assist thousands of employees and retirees to purchase their drugs from Canada by mail.
“Canadian consumers are sympathetic to the plight of our American friends in their effort to obtain lower cost prescription drugs”, said Mr. Cran. “However, Canadian consumers have an important question for our health ministers”.
“What will be the impact on Canada’s health system if millions of Americans purchase lower cost drugs in Canada”, asked Mr. Cran. To date, no one in Canada has provided a clear answer.
Canadian consumers are concerned prescription drug prices may skyrocket or supply be diverted to meet the needs of American buyers. Health authorities in Ireland, another possible source of prescription drugs to the Illinois plan, have expressed deep concern that citizens in that country would be hit with a supply shortage and be unable to obtain their own medications.
“Recent statements by some US politicians are also disturbing”, said Mr. Cran. “Congressman Rahm Emanuel from Illinois has stated that American consumers are paying higher prices for drugs and are subsidizing consumers in Canada and other countries. He is calling for higher drug prices in Canada so that US prices will fall”.
The Consumers Association is calling on Canadian Health Ministers to provide a clear statement regarding the impact on price and supply of Americans buying prescription drugs in Canada.
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For more information, contact:
Bruce Cran, CAC President
Telephone: (604) 454 7827