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States look to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs

October 10, 2003
By: Stephanie Hockridge
State Capital Bureau

With the high cost of prescription drugs, some states are looking to Canada for cheaper prices.

Stephanie Hockridge has the story.

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The possibility of cheaper prescription drugs in Illinois has sparked the interest of seniors around the nation.

But, the state of Missouri has not made this a priority.

Representative Otto Bean, a Republican on the Health Appropriations Committee, wants to make legislative changes so that cheaper drugs can be available to Missouri residents.

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"THEY SHOULD CERTAINLY TALK ABOUT IT IN THE NEXT LEGISLATURE. I WOULD HOPE THAT WE WOULD HAVE SOME TYPE OF PLAN."

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But, according to Missouri Medical Association Executive Vice President C.C. Swarens, changing policy is not a good thing.

He says that there is no way to ensure the safety of drugs bought in Canada.

From the state Capitol, I'm Stephanie Hockridge. Date:10/9/03

By: Stephanie Hockridge

State Capital Bureau

With the high cost of prescription drugs, some states are looking to Canada for cheaper prices.

Stephanie Hockridge has the story.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Some states are developing plans to help citizens save money on prescription drugs.

But Missouri is not one of them.

Missouri Medical Association Executive Vice President C.C. Swarens explains that the state plans to help citizens through a Medicare drug benefit bill instead.

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"CONGRESS IS LOOKING AT A MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT BILL THAT IS INTENDED TO ASSIST THOSE ON MEDICARE FOR MORE REASONABLY PRICED DRUGS. FOR REGULAR PEOPLE, MOST OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES PAY FOR MOST OF THE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, SO, THIS PROBLEM IS BEING ANSWERED IN A LOT OF WAYS."

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But Otto Bean a Republican on the Health Appropriations Committee supports buying prescription drugs in Canada.

He says changes should be made because the current drug prices are hurting seniors.

From the state Capitol, I'm Stephanie Hockridge.

Date:10/9/03

By: Stephanie Hockridge

State Capital Bureau

With the high cost of prescription drugs, some states are looking to Canada for cheaper prices. But Missouri is not one of them. Stephanie Hockridge has the story.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Some states are developing plans to help citizens save money on prescription drugs.

But Missouri legislatures have no intention to create a similar plan.

In fact, Representative Marsha Campbell, a Democrat on the Health Appropriations Committee is not familiar with the idea at all.

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"WE HAVEN'T DEALT WITH PRESCRIPTION PLANS, WELL AT LEAST WE DIDN'T LAST SESSION, AND THE PERSON THAT IS SO INVOLVED WITH THAT IS GONE."

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But, according to Missouri Medical Association Executive Vice President C.C. Swarens, this is a good thing.

He says the association rejected buying Canadian drugs because there are no safeguards for them.

From the state Capitol, I'm Stephanie Hockridge.