Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sixth State

The July/Aug edition of State Legislatures carried a news brief on Hawaii becoming the sixth state to enroll in I-SaveRx, a program which ships inexpensive but un-approved drugs from overseas directly to customers.

The legislative history on this is as follows: HB7 was introduced by Rep. Roy Takumi in 2007. It directs the Governor to establish the state's participation in I-SaveRx so that Hawaii residents could have increased access to affordable drugs. It stalled in 2007 and was carried over into the 2008 session. The bill passed in 2008 and was sent up to the Governor early - April 15. The Governor vetoed the bill, and the Legislature overrode the veto on May 1 with none voting no, but with the 7 Republicans excused.

Here's an excerpt:

It will be available to everyone, but will be most beneficial for those with inadequate prescription insurance coverage. The program started in Illinois in 2004, with Kansas, Missouri, Vermont and Wisconsin joining quickly after. It’s a way for senior citizens to avoid high prices for American medicine, with claimed savings of up to 55 percent. Under federal law it remains illegal for individuals to import drugs that do not comply with the federal government’s labeling requirements or have not been granted federal approval. I-SaveRx, however, has not been targeted by federal authorities. Critics worry about the safety of the drugs, which come from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

No comments: