Monday, July 21, 2003

Safe Medicines' Misleading Ads hit Oklahoma

In the last week on Oklahoma radio stations I've heard advertisements sponsored by a group called "Safe Medicines". The ads warn consumers of the danger of imported medicines and urges them to use local, American pharmacies. The ad I heard urges Oklahomans to call Oklahoma Congressman Brad Carson to ask him to protect American consumers from questionable imported medicines. Only if you know what's behind this ad would you know how outrageous it is.

Nowhere in the ad does "Safe Medicines" mention Canada - but the importation or re-importation of American, Canadian and British drugs from Canada is what "Safe Medicines" is trying to stop. Millions of Americans are buying their medicines from Canada for the simple reason that the price they pay for a drug from Canada is much lower than the price we pay for the same drug in the USA. Canada puts caps on drug prices - we don't. US pharmacies and drug companies do not like this trend - and rather than lower their prices in the US their greedy solution is to cut off Americans' access to drugs from Canada.

Take a look at Safe Medicines' website. Who are their sponsors? The National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. While these may be fine organizations they are not people who stay up late at night worrying if your Grandmother can afford her medicine.

This is a classic case of businesses masquerading as a consumer group and using misleading advertising to scare consumers into doing the businesses' bidding. Rather than call Brad Carson and ask him to help cut off our access to medicines call him at (918) 341-9336 and ask him to protect your right to buy drugs from Canada - or whereever you want to.

Shame on the American drug industry for their greediness and their dishonest tactics. See what AARP has to say here.

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