Portland Officials: Canada Prescription Drugs Would Save Millions

Friday, 14 Dec 2012 10:05 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Officials in Portland, Maine are working to scrap a new state regulation that bans consumers from purchasing cheaper prescription drugs by mail order from Canada and other countries — a step that would save millions of dollars.

In September, Maine Attorney General suspended the practice after local drug stores filed complaints that Canadian pharmacies with mail order businesses were not licensed by the state, the Portland Press Herald reported Friday.

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan has asked state legislators to push a legislation that would allow residents to once again order drugs from over the border.

One result of the ban, officials say, is that the city of Portland now faces $200,000 in additional costs to cover its workers’ drug costs.

The Herald says the importation of cheaper prescriptions from Canada saved the city some $3.2 million over eight years.

The Retailers Association of Maine, which represents drug stores in the state, opposes Canadian imports, saying it’s hard to tell where the drugs are coming from, which could put patients at risk.

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