Illinois First State to Help Residents Find Cheaper Drugs Overseas

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, abandoning a months-long bid to first get federal approval, announced today that his state will help Illinois residents buy prescription drugs from pre-screened pharmacies in Canada, England and Ireland. The state program will be the first to assist residents with drug purchases from Europe, a move made necessary in part by the drug industry's increasingly successful effort to cut off supplies to Canadian pharmacies that provide drugs to U.S. residents.

Five other states, the District of Columbia and several cities offer programs to help residents or employees purchase drugs from pharmacies in Canada, where prices are generally lower than in the United States. Citing safety concerns, the Food and Drug Administration has warned the cities and states to halt their efforts. The program will allow Illinois residents using a Web site or toll-free phone number to purchase about 100 products the state has determined can be safely shipped from outside the United States, and the governor's office estimates 25 percent to 50 percent savings off U.S. retail prices.

As I have said countless times in the past, drugs are not the solution for the vast majority of ailments that are facing Americans. They are instead simply Band-Aids that cover up the underlying cause of the illness. I rarely prescribe pharmaceuticals, but even though I am a physician focused on natural health and wellness I do sometimes prescribe drugs to patients in certain cases.

What bothers me almost as much as the extreme over-prescription of pharmaceuticals is the ridiculously inflated prices the drug companies charge people here in the United States. If you must take pharmaceuticals, there are ways that can help you to reduce your drug expenses now.

USA Today August 17, 2004

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