January 24, 2003 By Tom Cohen
GlaxoSmithKline, citing concerns about proper medical supervision, has told the Canadian wholesalers and retailers it supplies that they must provide assurances they are not selling drugs to the United States. If they don't, Glaxo will stop supplying them.
It originally set a Jan. 21 deadline for complying but backed off Tuesday, saying it was working on a plan to ensure that its customers still get enough drugs for Canadian consumers.
In response, Canadian pharmacies have banded together in associations and threatened lawsuits alleging unfair practices and trade violations. They say the issue is not quality of care but the money that GlaxoSmithKline sees going to Canadian companies.
Dave Adams, 56, who lives in the Los Angeles area and gets his Zocor medicine for high cholesterol from crossborderpharmacy.com, is like many U.S. consumers who dismiss product safety concerns.
The Zocor he gets from Canada is made by the same company -- Merck -- that made the supplies he used to buy in California. But now he pays $256 for a 90-day supply instead of $648.
"You can say all those things you want, but my cholesterol is the same" whether the prescription is filled in the United States or Canada, he said Wednesday by telephone.
Copyright 2002. Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
You may use or reference this story with attribution and a link to