California senate approves drug reimportation bill
May 27 2004 11:00 PM ET
The California senate on Tuesday voted 23-9 for a bill that would allow the state Department of Health Services to reimburse pharmacies for prescription drugs purchased from Canadian pharmacies for Medi-Cal or AIDS Drug Assistance Program clients. The bill now moves to the state assembly. "California legislators face a daunting choice as they try to grapple with the enormous state budget crisis: cut medical care and services to some of California's most vulnerable citizens, or find cheaper alternatives, such as allowing the purchase of Canadian drugs," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which supports drug reimportation. "As drug prices here in the U.S. continue to spiral upward and out of control, we thank the senate for swiftly moving [the bill] forward as we all try and help bring meaningful prescription drug reform to California."