Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said
Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh talked about limits on bulk exports
of drugs - but the new Nevada law that she pushed deals with
purchases by individuals.
Dosanjh also said Canada would ban the bulk exports when
supplies were low at home. Buckley also said Dosanjh talked about a legislative proposal to restrict the drug purchases, but going through Canada's Parliament is a process that could take up to two years.
While individual sales would not necessarily be affected by the
ban, it could affect drug wholesalers or manufacturers in Canada.
They aren't permitted to export to the United States under U.S.
law, but could do so under legislation being considered in
Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world,
and U.S. lawmakers are pushing to legalize the importation of
wholesale prescription drugs as well as Internet purchases from
Canada and other countries.
While it's now legal in Canada for pharmacies to mail Americans
drugs - after having been faxed or mailed their physician's
prescriptions - it's illegal in the United States, though the laws
are generally not enforced.
The Bush administration opposes prescription drug imports, and
federal regulators warn they cannot guarantee the safety of drugs
from outside U.S. borders.
The drug-import program, I-SaveRx, uses a Canada-based
clearinghouse to connect residents of Illinois, Vermont, Kansas,
Missouri and Wisconsin to pharmacies and wholesalers in Canada,
Ireland and the United Kingdom. Minnesota and Wisconsin also have
state-operated Web sites to help residents import medications from
Under the new Nevada law, the state Pharmacy Board will begin
licensing pharmacies in Canada. Links to the approved pharmacies
will be posted on a state-run Web site. Nevadans could fax or send their prescriptions to the pharmacies and purchase up to a three-month supply of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration.