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June 10, 2003

Canada's cheaper drugs anger U.S. drug giants

Cutting to the chase, this article is about how the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is trying to lobby the Canadian health care system into oblivion. As I understand it, the Canadian government subsidizes the purchase of medicine for Canadian citizens, lowering the price that an individual has to pay. Canadian businesses seem to be using this to their advantage, selling low priced drugs over the internet to Americans. And the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is pissed because that means that they're not making as much money as they could.

So, to solve this "problem" of lower profits, the U.S. drug industry is trying to eliminate the price controls that make drugs more affordable for Canadians. Bastards.

Posted by Jake at 12:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

It's disgusting the amount of money Big Pharma wastes on stuff. You should see the turnover in computer equipment these monkeys do. They buy the latest and greatest stuff on a whim, and throw out perfectly working computers.

Posted by: Tom at June 10, 2003 04:33 AM

On a similarily related note, a friend of mine mentioned that buying her birth control pills was about 5x as expensive in the states as in canada ($100 vs $18 or something like that), and the same for condoms... this to me is just stupid, and no doubt contributing to a lot of the problems that it seems the states has, like people in depressed neighborhoods/inner city areas on welfare with lots of kids. Well if you can't afford birth control, isn't that the obvious result? Shouldn't something like this be made more accessible to people? Or am I on crack?

Posted by: Arcterex at June 10, 2003 10:42 AM

What I fail to understand is why, given the fact that Congress recently passed a law allowing the importation of drugs from Canada, that drug purchasing companies (those that service insurance companies such as Expresscripts.com or merck-medco), aren't importing all of their drugs from canada and producing huge cost savings. There hasn't been one change in the cost of medications since this law was passed, even though I get most of my meds through one of these prescriptions-by-mail companies (which are contractors with my insurance company).

Either these companies are just pocketing more money (likely), or there issome other explanation.

Posted by: Tom Burka at June 10, 2003 11:58 AM

Well Arc, I can't speak to your crack-using issues, but I think that access to birth control is an important and neglected issue. If feminists spent more time on this issue, maybe access to abortion wouldn't be so crucial. bell hooks has argued that this says something about the affluence of the feminist movement.

And, to riff on a proverb, if men got pregnant, birth control would be a Constitutional right, _at least_.

I blame conservative Christians, who generally argue that sex is something that should only be done by responsible, emotionless, married people with suitable financial assets for child-rearing, and who are white.

Posted by: Jake at June 10, 2003 01:52 PM

Jake: :) Not only would BC be a constitutional right, but abortion would be offered for free with your medical coverage. Gotta love the world we live in eh?

Posted by: Arcterex at June 11, 2003 02:35 PM

Actually, the biggest problem is that Canada dosen't regulate what comes into the US. There is no quality control system in place for the citizens of America and no way to know if the compaines are legit. Most of the order pages are just middle men. In a recent study, they found a large percentage of the drugs coming into the US from online companies in Canada were either not chemically equivalent or just plain bunk. There is no quality guarantee if you get medications from another country.
If you really want to know why big companies like MerckMedco and Expresscripts aren't buying from Canada and giving the population a break, take a close look at PBM's and business practices. Also, take a look at regulations for generic substitution in mail order pharmacies and who runs mail order.

Posted by: a student at October 6, 2003 09:36 AM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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