Can the problem of high prescription drug costs in this country be solved by purchasing drugs on the Internet or with a bus trip across the Canadian border?
Many politicians appear to think so. Consumers seem to strongly agree, and the Internet has become the Mall of America for prescription drugs. Sales from Canadian pharmacies over the Internet exploded from $50 million in 2000 to $800 million in 2003.
But Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and other officials are worried about shortages for their own citizens, and there is discussion of halting Internet sales to Americans. And the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a task force report on drug importation which concludes that legalizing importation would provide negligible savings, pose serious risks to public health, have a damaging impact on future R&D, and lead to price controls in America.
On February 3, health care experts Sally C. Pipes and Brian Lee Crowley addressed those and other important issues surrounding the prescription drug debate.