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Walgreen Co. Message Board

  • negfeedback2000 negfeedback2000 Nov 12, 2003 4:52 PM Flag

    a more recent article

    I've pasted it since some don't bother to go to the link.
    Guess they didn't heed Dan Rather either.

    Published on 11/8/2003 in the Rutland Herald
    State Continues Canadian Drug Benefit
    by Bruce Edwards

    A South Burlington company that helps Vermonters purchase lower-priced Canadian prescription drugs has withstood a challenge from the Vermont Board of Pharmacy.

    The Vermont Board of Pharmacy filed a complaint earlier this year with the secretary of state�s Office of Professional Regulation alleging that Discount Prescription Services (formerly American Drug Club) should be shut down because it was not a licensed pharmacy, according to Thomas Anderson, president of Discount Prescription Services.

    An ensuing investigation found no basis for the complaint of unprofessional conduct, which was dismissed in September.

    �We�re not a pharmacy, and we don�t stock any drugs or sell any drugs,� Anderson said.

    Rather than being in the business of selling prescription drugs, Anderson said his company helps Vermonters obtain their medications from a licensed Canadian pharmacy, helping clients fill out the required paperwork, which is then mailed or faxed to Canada. Clients then receive their medications in the mail, usually within two weeks

    The Vermont Board of Pharmacy complaint stemmed from concerns about the safety of imported prescription drugs. Board member John Dorvee said that �the complaint was dismissed because we don�t have jurisdiction over someone who has a storefront operation.� Dorvee indicated, however, that one option to halt the importation of drugs from Canada into Vermont would be to take action directly against Canadian pharmacies because those pharmacies are not licensed to sell drugs in Vermont.

    Anderson, who also sells life and group health insurance, started Discount Prescription Services earlier this year to help Vermonters purchase Canadian drugs, which cost 30 to 80 percent less than the same drugs sold in the U.S.

    Today, Anderson said, Discount Prescription Drugs has several hundred customers, mostly senior citizens on fixed incomes, who have a hard time paying for their U.S.-bought medications. He said approximately 80 percent of the business is repeat orders.

    Like the Vermont Board of Pharmacy, the federal Food and Drug Administration has balked at endorsing the reimportation of Canadian drugs. But Anderson argues that safety is not an issue.

    �There certainly haven�t been any problems at all,� he said. �As long as we deal with Canada, they operate exactly as we do.�

    While heartened by the ruling by the secretary of state�s office, Anderson said the real answer lies in lowering prescription drug prices in this country.

    There is growing sentiment in Congress to legalize the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada. Late last month, a contingent of state and local officials from Vermont attended a meeting in Boston on the issue.

    Anderson said he has received support from Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. He said he has met with Burlington officials as that city contemplates assisting its employees to purchase cheaper drugs north of the border. He said he also receives referrals from the Chittenden County Area Agency on Aging.

    Anderson said he is still considering opening a branch office in Rutland. The company also has a Web site at www.burlingtondrugclub.com, where someone can fill out the necessary forms to obtain prescriptions from Canada.

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