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The Wall Street Journal reports that Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drug manufacturer, has advised Canadian pharmacy retailers that in order to obtain drugs from its authorized wholesalers, they will have to promise not to ship the medicines to US customers, whether they be government agencies, private companies, or individuals.

David MacKay, executive director of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, told the WSJ that the letter was "extreme," and aimed at putting Canadian mail order pharmacies out of business.

Pfizer charges that many Internet pharmacies are a conduit for counterfeit drugs, and that it plans to continue looking for ways to shut off the reimportation of medications from Canada to the US.

Reimportation has become a hot potato issue of late, with states and local municipalities engaging in or considering the practice as a way of closing onerous budget gaps. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has consistently said that the practice is illegal, though it has stopped short of taking legal action.
KC's View:
Pfizer has to make this move; after all, questions can be legitimately asked about why identical medicines are so much cheaper in Canada than they are in the US.

And the FDA has to be happy that a private company is being aggressive, because that buys time. The Bush administration probably would like to defer taking any action that would shut off the stream of inexpensive medications from Canada until after the presidential election in November.