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Prescription Importation

| September 17, 2013

PrescriptionImportation from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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Several Pharmacy groups are suing Maine over a new law that allows residents to import prescription dugs from other countries by mail.  The law suit was filed Tuesday September 10th in the U.S District Court over many concerns for this new legislation.

The recently passed law allows mail order firms from foreign countries to take prescriptions written by U.S. Doctors, and fill them in pharmacies in Canada, the united kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.  While supports of this law say it certainly gives Mainers medications at a cheaper price, Pharmacy groups in Maine oppose for many reasons.. Including their ability to tightly monitor the quality of the drugs.

“When it’s shifted to international sources, pharmacies who utilize brokers, who can be located anywhere in the world, there’s a loss of control that’s disconcerting to the groups,” John Hebert says.  Hebert is a pharmacist at the city drug store in Presque Isle and has his own pharmacy in Van Buren.  He says he’s experienced situations with counterfeit drugs.  And that it’s a problem because there are many websites out there who offer prescription importation.

Hebert says, “typically you have firm, like the you see being talked about like CanaRx and what they are they’re kind of a middle man they work with pharmacies in Canada and they obtain drugs on behalf of residents from different states including Maine.”

This practice has been allowed in Maine through recent legislation passed in June, without a signature from Governor Paul LePage.   Various pharmacy groups like the Maine Pharmacy Association oppose the legislation and filed a law suit.  President of the maine pharmacy association Kenneth McCall tells newssource 8 that their three primary concerns, are the lack of safety and privacy, the unlicensed pharmacy practice, and that fact that it’s illegal.

McCall says the FDA has already shutdown over a thousand illegal pharmacy firms.  The FDA has also found that about 97 percent of mail order firms are non compliant with FDA rules.  For that reason, pharmacy groups argue that this law will jeopardize the U.S’s pharmaceutical distribution system, and jeopardize the health of Maine residents.

For more details on the legislation and the context of the law suit, follow this link:

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