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Reimburse pharmacies that purchase prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies

September 8, 2004
The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Request for Signature on SB 1333 (Perata)
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, respectfully requests your signature on SB 1333 (Perata). The bill would allow the Medi-Cal program and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to reimburse pharmacies that purchase prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies.
Drug prices in the United States are the highest in the world. From 1997-2002, prescription prices in the U.S. have increased an average of 17% per year, far greater than the rise in inflation. These rising costs directly impact the Medi-Cal and ADAP budgets. Canadian pharmacies are usually a much cheaper source of drugs than U.S. sources. For the most part, drugs from Canada are just as safe as those from the U.S. We know of no examples of Americans being harmed by drugs reimported from Canada.
With our state facing a massive budget deficit, Medi-Cal and ADAP must do everything possible to save money without jeopardizing services to beneficiaries. By facilitating the use of Canadian pharmacies for drug purchasing, SB 1333 is a sensible way to do just that.
For these reasons, Consumers Union supports SB 1333.
Earl Lui
Senior Attorney
cc: Senator Don Perata