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Canadian Pharmacies Fight Back

This article was originally published in RPM Report

Executive Summary

The Medicare prescription drug benefit is a direct attack on Canadian pharmacies that ship drugs to US consumers--and those pharmacies are fighting back.

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The First Taste of the Donut Hole

The coverage gap in Medicare Part D is not taking as big a bite out of coverage this year as originally expected. But pharma is still nervous about what will happen to patients who do fall in the donut hole. And, though the numbers affected this year may not be as large as feared, pharma comapnies need to learn as much as they can about the impact of the donut hole under Part D.

The First Taste of the Donut Hole

The coverage gap in Medicare Part D is not taking as big a bite out of coverage this year as originally expected. But pharma is still nervous about what will happen to patients who do fall in the donut hole. And, though the numbers affected this year may not be as large as feared, pharma comapnies need to learn as much as they can about the impact of the donut hole under Part D.

Concerning Canada

It's technically illegal for US citizens to buy pharmaceuticals from Canada, but that's not stopping anybody. Indeed, the trend is gaining momentum at the state level. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies have a range of options for responding to re-importation, such as emphasizing the safety risks of new purchasing channels, limiting shipments into Canada, and getting tougher in price negotiations. Making pricing a trade issue might help the industry, but it's a tough case to argue. If worse comes to worst, companies may need to take legal recourse. If re-importation continues unchallenged, it is likely to lead to US price controls.

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