San Francisco Launches Web Site To Help City Residents Purchase Prescription Drugs From Canada
San Francisco on Tuesday launched a Web site that lists three Canadian pharmacies from which city residents can purchase lower-cost prescription drugs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Regulators from Minnesota, which operates a similar Web site, have inspected and approved the three pharmacies -- Vancouver-based Granville Pharmacy, Winnipeg-based CanadaDrugs.com and Calgary-based Total Care Pharmacy; New Hampshire and Wisconsin also list the three pharmacies on similar sites. The San Francisco Web site includes safety warnings and does not recommend that city residents purchase prescription drugs from Canada. In addition, the Web site includes information about generic medications, alternatives to prescription drugs and healthy living.
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, who proposed the Web site, said, "This Web site moves San Francisco to the forefront of the effort by state and local government to help people get cheaper prescription drugs." Brian Katcher, deputy director of prevention for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which administers the Web site, said that the site will allow more city residents to obtain necessary medications. "If people can't afford their drugs, they're not going to take them. It's a public health issue." However, Jeff Trewhitt, a spokesperson for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said that the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada raises safety concerns and threatens research and development of new treatments. He added that although some city residents may not have access to affordable prescription drugs, they should seek help from assistance programs, rather than purchase medications from Canada (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.