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State Leaders Approve Cheap Canada Drugs

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NEW YORK, Dec 18, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Governors and mayors across the United States are bucking federal and industry warnings and are increasing support of plans to import cheaper drugs from Canada.

Details of how they plan to implement such programs are beginning to emerge, the Wall Street Journal says, adding that such efforts carry legal, health and political risks. All of the programs are likely to be closely scrutinized by both sides of the national debate over prescription drug importation.

The Food and Drug Administration, joined by pharmaceutical makers, has repeatedly said it is unsafe to import prescription drugs because they may not meet U.S. standards.

New Hampshire, one of the boldest states, is creating a Web site that will link its residents to Canadian pharmacies. Minnesota is also establishing a Web site for Canadian drug purchases.

West Virginia is exploring plans to import Canadian drugs through local pharmacies rather than by mail order. Some states, such as Illinois and Vermont, are considering signing up state workers with a mail order plan.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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