retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning its response to a website operated by the state of Minnesota that sends its residents to Canadian pharmacies where they can buy prescriptions cheaper than from US pharmacies.

The state of Wisconsin plans to launch a similar site this week, and FDA has expressed concerns about it as well.

FDA takes the position that such 'reimportation" of drugs from Canada or other foreign countries is illegal and unsafe. However, while it has moved to close down US companies that import such drugs, FDA's response to states and cities encouraging such activities has been largely rhetorical.

In related news, a new group - the Pharmacy Alliance for Canadians - has been formed there to look at the drug reimportation issue and its long-term implications. The companies involved with the new group include A&P Canada, Canada Safeway, Loblaw Supermarkets, and Super Thrifty Drugs.
KC's View:
We've felt all along that FDA is waiting until after the November elections to get aggressive on this issue, simply because it would prefer not to draw attention to the discrepancy between US drug costs and Canadian drug costs during an election year.

We'll see if we're proven wrong on this.