FDA Seizes Drugs Imported Under Five-State Program (Update1)
March 9 (Bloomberg) -- The Food and Drug Administration is seizing prescription drugs shipped to patients in the U.S. from overseas under I-Save Rx, the program sponsored by five states to help residents obtain low-cost medicines.
At least 54 customers said the FDA confiscated orders sent from the U.K. since late January, according to Tony Howard, president of CanaRx Services Inc., the program's Tecumseh, Ontario-based supplier. The orders were worth $13,000, Howard said.
``I think the FDA's in collusion with the drug companies,'' Philip Flavin, 57, a disabled former respiratory therapist from Glenview, Illinois, said in a March 7 interview. Instead of receiving his order of Merck & Co.'s bone-strengthening drug Fosamax in January, he got a letter from the FDA saying the package had been seized by the Post Office.
I-Save Rx, set up by Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich in October, allows residents to order from Canada, Ireland and the U.K. at savings of as much as 50 percent, according to the program's Web site.
Drugmakers led by Pfizer Inc. oppose cross-border purchases of medicines, which totaled about $1.4 billion last year, contending that imports leave customers vulnerable to counterfeit drugs.
FDA spokeswoman Rae Jones today said no one from the agency was available to comment.
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