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Date Posted: 21:35:46 08/19/03 Tue
Author: Dr Who
Subject: Re: Montana seeks to close Internet pharmacy 'broker'
In reply to: Ghost 's message, "Montana seeks to close Internet pharmacy 'broker'" on 00:05:33 08/12/03 Tue

Attention News/Health Editors:

Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy - Online Pharmacies, Not Drug Companies, More Likely to Limit Manitobans' Access to RX Medicines

Illegal Cross-Border Shipments Are The Real Risk

WINNIPEG, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - If Manitoba patients find themselves unable to
get a prescription filled at the pharmacy counter, they should point the
finger at cross-border internet pharmacies, not drug manufacturers, said the
Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy.
A number of pharmaceutical companies have given notice that they will no
longer ship products to international internet pharmacy companies, which
purchase Canadian prescription drugs, at Canadian prices, then resell them at
a significant markup to Americans. This activity is contrary to United States
federal law. The manufacturers' actions have resulted in suggestions, by
business involved in the cross-border trade, that Canadian patients could be
hurt by having their access to medicines limited.
"It's ridiculous for the cross-border pharmacies to imply that Manitobans
will suffer because drug manufacturers don't want to help them sell drugs to
Americans," said Greg Skura, a co-founder of the Coalition for Manitoba
Pharmacy and partner in Brandon-based Super Thrifty Drugs Canada. "To me, it
seems pretty hypocritical for them to profess concern about Manitoba patients.
The internet pharmacies exist to distribute Canadian drug supplies to
Americans, not Manitobans."
"From our perspective, the internet pharmacies created the problem and
now they're trying to blame the drug companies for any medicine shortages,"
said Skura. "The internet companies are the ones who are shipping huge
quantities of products, that were meant for Manitobans, across the border. Any
supply problem we see, for Manitoba patients, is likely to result from the
cross-border trade."
"The drug manufacturers have said that they're going to ensure enough
supply for Manitobans, and we're taking them at their word," said Michele
Fontaine, a Coalition spokesperson and community pharmacist in Winnipeg. "The
vast majority of Manitoba pharmacists and pharmacies are devoted to treating
Manitobans, and we're not going to have our drug supplies cut off."

'Underground' market can't be tracked

Fontaine added, "The problem arises when cross-border pharmacies scour
the province to acquire big volumes of drugs meant for Manitobans, then turn
around and sell them for more money in the U.S. That's what seems to be
creating the strain on supplies of pharmaceuticals, because it's an
'underground' market that can't be tracked, and it creates unpredictable
shortages."
The Coalition for Manitoba pharmacy was formed by Manitoba community
pharmacists concerned about the impact of the fast-growing international
internet pharmacy industry on Manitoba health care and on the pharmacy
profession.




-30-

For further information: Greg Skura, B.Sc. (Pharm.), Co-Founder,
Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy, (204) 728-1555, Michele Fontaine, B.Sc.
(Pharm), Spokesperson, Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy, (204) 779-1996,
Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy website: www.ethicalpharmacy.com
COALITION FOR MANITOBA PHARMACY has 4 releases in this database

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