Glaxo Wants to Keep Cheaper Drugs Out of USA
January 21, 2003
Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has given Canadian pharmacists until today to heed an ultimatum: Stop selling to Americans, or we'll stop selling to you. An increasing number of Americans buy pharmaceuticals from countries where prices can be 20 percent to 80 percent lower than in the United States. On Monday, Glaxo said talks are ongoing. A Manitoba pharmacists group estimates that stores in the province sell $400 million worth of drugs to US customers annually, with Glaxo products -- including products for depression, asthma and AIDS -- representing about 10 percent. Glaxo said safety is its main concern. A spokesperson said the company fears that improper temperature, humidity or radiation levels during shipping could damage its drugs. Canada is reviewing whether Glaxo's threatened action could violate trade agreements or other laws. Most US sales are through the Internet. Although importing drugs is illegal, pharmacists use a gray area of the law to ship drugs to Americans for personal use.Adapted from:
01.21.03; Julie Appleby
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.