I-SaveRx: New Member and Continued Criticism
By Sam Bakken in News on Oct 28, 2004 6:08PM
Gov. BJ's controversial I-SaveRx has added another state to the plan amid continued criticism from the Illinois Pharmacists Association. Missouri Governor Bob Holden announced today that his state will join Wisconsin and Illinois in the I-SaveRx drug program that allows residents to purchase re-imported prescription drugs from Canadian and British pharmacies over the Internet or by phone. Though the program launched on Oct. 4, Holden held (HEY-OH!) out until he could review the plan. He said the review made him "...confident the I-SaveRx program offers both safety and savings."
If I-SaveRx continues to add states to the ranks we could actually see our government take some action on prescription drug prices, but we won't hold(en) our breath (SSNNXXXX!). The FDA still doesn't approve of the re-importation of the drugs, maybe because they're beholden (BWAAA!) to the drug companies, but they're not making any moves to stop the practice either.
The Illinois Pharmacists Association launched an ad-campaign today with ads in area newspapers criticizing the I-SaveRx program. Their main argument is that since the pharmacies are outside the U.S., participants have no legal recourse should any problems arise with their prescriptions nor any way to hold(en) the anonymous pharmacies accountable (WHO-EEEE!-we'll stop). However, we took a quick look at the IPA's web site and some of their past press releases and they seem most concerned about the elimination of the user-dealer relationship. We're getting a definite "But Gov. BJ, we rip people off for a living! If you take that away from us, how will we put our kids through college?" vibe.
Blago spokesperson Abby Ottenhoff said that I SaveRx patrons have the same right to take action against pharmacies even if they are located outside the U.S. and that pharmacists just don't want to lose business.
We applaud Blago's initiative to do something while the Washington gang bides their time on this issue. Hopefully more and more states will join up with I SaveRx, Washington will take notice and we'll finally get some prescription drug price controls here in the U.S.