One more reason to love Canada

Last year, the pharmaceutical industry strongly opposed U.S. President Bill Clinton’s proposal that the government help elderly Americans pay for prescription medicines. As of last Friday, the industry says it will actively support Medicare payments for prescriptions. They may have a warmer climate and lower income tax, but the fact that this is even news makes one proud to be a Canadian.

The president of the U.S. drug industry group the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America now says that they support the idea of senior citizens using their Medicare payments, to cover some of the costs of prescription drugs. The industry remains opposed to government price controls, which they say would hamper their abilities to carry out new research.

Last year, the same drug companies paid for an advertising campaign that attacked the Medicare proposal, which would give seniors the option of paying a monthly premium for (partial) coverage of their prescription drugs. President Clinton had some strong words for the drug companies.

“Someone ought to ask how they can possibly justify the fact that American senior citizens are now being carried across the border to Canada tbuy drugs produced in America by American drug companies with the help of public funds that pay for research,” he said.