Wednesday, October 4, 2006

U.S. to Stop Seizing Canadian Medicine -

October 4, 2006; Page A3

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Under pressure from Congress, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials scrapped their 11-month-old policy of seizing prescription drugs imported through the mail from Canada.

The practice, implemented last November, had come under fire from lawmakers for depriving tens of thousands of American seniors of their drugs and protecting the high prices charged by U.S. pharmaceutical companies.

"We're going back to operating procedures prior to November 2005," she said.

Although most prescription-drug importations are illegal under U.S. law, Customs had long turned a blind eye to small mail orders coming across the border from Canada, before launching the new policy of seizures late last year.

Imports from Canada, which have surged in the past six years with the rise of online pharmacies, have been a sore point with drug makers.

The amendment excluded packages sent by mail, but it represented a significant breach in the tight alliance between Republicans and the drug industry, which remains a major source of financial support for House and Senate campaigns.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


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