Maine wants its Internet drug sources back

Alarm over counterfeits coming into the U.S. through Canadian Internet pharmacies reached new levels last year after a counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin made its way here through one. But even as efforts are made to buttress protections against that weak link in the pharmaceutical supply chain, state officials in Maine are working to change the state's legislation so its public employee health programs can keep buying drugs from a Canadian Internet pharmacy. According to Pharmalot, a state senator has introduced a bill that would license mail-order pharmacies in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia to sell drugs to Maine residents. CanaRx last year shut down its MaineMeds program after the state's attorney general ruled it was illegal for it to sell in the state. The state had been using the decision to cut about $3 million out of state employee healthcare costs. Industry is opposing the efforts. Pharmalot reports that the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is warning legislators that Internet pharmacies that claim to be from those countries often have no connection to them. Story | More