Fewer U.S. patients buy Canadian drugs

The northward migration of drug buyers is slackening, according to pharmaceuticals datameister IMS Health. In 2006 U.S. customers only spent $211 on meds from Canadian pharmacies, compared with $420 million in 2005.

Once upon a time, hordes of thrifty customers finagled their way into filling prescriptions in Canada, where drugs can be as much as 40 percent cheaper. But Medicare's prescription drug benefit has cut into the business. Canadian pharmacies also raised their prices. And drug makers Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline threatened to cut off Canadian pharmacies that catered to U.S. customers. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar ain't what it used to be. But the saga of drug-buying on foreign markets isn't over yet. Congress is still considering opening up imports.

- read the report from the Philadelphia Inquirer