Gov. Doyle: Governor Doyle Announces Expanded Drug List on Drugsavings.wi.gov
Jessica Erickson, Governor's Office, 608-261-2156
Important Cancer, Asthma, Diabetes, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson Medications Offer Savings of 51 percent
Governor Jim Doyle announced today that the state's prescription drug website - drugsavings.wi.gov - which allows citizens to purchase safe, affordable prescription drugs from Canada, is being expanded with 30 additional medications. The Governor also announced the latest figures showing the incredible interest in the site and the number of people who have used the site so far.
"For Wisconsin citizens who are battling against cancer, asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson disease - and are also battling with the high price of prescription drugs - this expanded list of medications will mean real help," Governor Doyle said.
As of May 7, the site had more than 107,000 unique visitors, averaging 1,500 visits a day since the site was launched on February 25. The State of Rhode Island has linked to Wisconsin's website - generating at least 960 visitors. Additionally, from February 25 to March 31, there were 421 orders involving 765 prescriptions totaling $94,340 through www.drugsavings.wi.gov. In comparison, in its first three weeks, Minnesota's prescription drug reimportation website had approximately 100 orders.
"I am pleased that hundreds of Wisconsin citizens have been able to use our site to find significant savings on their prescription bills," Governor Doyle said. "But it is also clear that there are still significant barriers to Wisconsin residents getting access to these lower price prescription drugs. If the federal government would simply allow people to purchase these medications from Canada at local pharmacies here in Wisconsin, many more citizens would participate. With 107,000 visitors to our website, it is clear there is tremendous interest in these lower price prescription drugs."
Attached is a list of six commonly prescribed medications that are new to the website that offer savings of up to 51 percent.
Governor Doyle has been a national leader in the fight for lower price prescription drugs from Canada, working closely with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. In February, Wisconsin became the second state in the nation to establish a prescription drug importation website, www.drugsavings.wi.gov.
Last month, Governor Doyle testified before the federal Drug Importation Task Force to urge the federal government to grant approval for safe reimportation of U.S. approved prescription drugs from Canada. The Task Force, chaired by U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, was mandated by Congress as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act to study the safety and feasibility of allowing drug importation from Canada.
The Governor has also asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to launch an anti-trust investigation of drug companies that have threatened to cause shortages in Canada and blacklisted Canadian pharmacies that do business with U.S. customers.