The November 2003 issue of Health Care News offers a special report on the public safety, legal, and economic implications of prescription drug importation.
- Reporter Steve Stanek covers Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s aggressive campaign to import drugs from Canada as a way to lower the state’s spending on Medicaid and government employee health benefits.
- The Galen Institute’s Grace-Marie Turner describes how importation endangers the country’s drug supply, by making it more difficult to determine if drugs are real or fake, if they were properly manufactured and handled, or if they are contaminated or expired.
- The Heritage Foundation’s Nina Owcharenko explains how drug importation creates perverse incentives for pharmaceutical manufacturers and moves the U.S. too far down the road to domestic price controls.
- HCN Managing Editor Conrad F. Meier documents the very serious risk to public safety posed by drug importation. Reports Meier, “The World Health Organization estimated in 2000 that about 8 percent of bulk drugs imported to the United States are counterfeit, unapproved, or substandard.”
This issue also reports on Congressional efforts to develop a prescription drug card for senior citizens; the “play or pay” mandate recently signed by California’s former governor, Gray Davis; the Census Bureau’s recent report on the number of uninsured Americans; a Medicare reform ad campaign conducted by the National Association of Health Underwriters; the Independence Institute’s September 3 “Cash for Care” Symposium; health care in Canada; and private prescription drug discount programs.
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