June 25, 2018
Augusta Latest News | Poll Questions | Lone Star Ticks | Foraging | Bangor Pride

Comments for: LePage wants low-cost Canadian drug program back, but it’s no simple matter

Guidelines for posting on bangordailynews.com

The Bangor Daily News and the Bangor Publishing Co. encourage comments about stories, but you must follow our terms of service.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic
  2. No vulgarity, racial slurs, name-calling or personal attacks.
  3. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked.
The primary rule here is pretty simple: Treat others with the same respect you'd want for yourself. Here are some guidelines (see more):

  • Lord Whiteman

    It figures Paul Lepage would support a Canadian company instead of US company’s. 

    • Anonymous

      Can’t have it both ways! You’d find fault either way. Your partisan politics is tiring!

      • Lord Whiteman

        Think about it. Lepage signed the bill to make it illegal to only hire American workers, Lepage gave a Canadian investment bank $17 million even though it violated the Maine Constitution’s 14th clause, Lepage gave our $300,000 to help Canada build a right of way that will make it easier for Canadian  companies to dump illegally subsidized products onto the US market.
         All the while Lepage did nothing to keep those 600 Maine jobs in Brunswick, Lepage didn’t do anything to help keep the 85 jobs at Mr Paperback, Lepage refused to help the pellet mill open in Burham, Lepage was useless when the Canadians block Maine lobster from being processed in Canada,  I could go on but you just toss out some canned insult that ignores the facts.

        • Anonymous

          How does a Governor or President “save” or “create” jobs?

          Here is a case where the Governor is supporting a bill that would save Maine families MONEY and because it is Governor LePage people will find fault with it. If it were ANY other Governor people would be praising and falling over each other patting the Governor on the back.

          Try to move beyond partisan politics and at least acknowledge that the Governor in this single case is trying to do something to help Maine families struggling to pay for needed prescriptions.

          • International Mail Order Drugs takes away jobs in the USA the same way that Nafta, Cafta, Shafta, took away jobs and are destroying our economy.

            What good is cheaper products when you have NO job?

          • Anonymous

            I ask people the same question every time they say they are going over to “Wally World”. I enjoy the blank stares. 

          • Blank Stares!


             I got that at the fairgrounds when I stopped by the Republican Booth that was displaying the Repub Elephant Logo,

            I asked Who turned the Stars Upside Down!

            Blank Stare!



          • Anonymous

            My favorite was when the Man Show set up a booth in Venice beach, CA. and started collecting signatures to repeal the 18th amendment and end women’s suffrage. A large number of women signed the petition before one of them finally stopped in mid signature and said ” wait a minute, you are trying to take away my right to vote” lol. I laugh every time I think about it. I would hate to see them take away my ex sister in law’s right to vote. She had a very scientific and sapient way to decide who she would vote for. She always went with the whitest teeth and the best dressed. I once asked her if she went for the best looking one in a particular party? She said that she did not care what they did when they were not at work. Just because they like to party, it doesn’t mean they would not do a good job. My brother told me that I had to stop talking about politics with her! lol.

          • Anonymous

            Saw something like that a few years ago on The Man Show. The guys had set up a booth and were collecting signatures to end women’s suffrage. Alot of women commented that what they were doing was a good thing as women should not have to suffer. Friggin’ priceless.

          • Anonymous

            So you would prefer the Governor to do nothing and let these Maine families either pay higher costs or go without?

          • Thats ,why we have Medicaid , Social Security Disability, and Welfare,

            Going without your new car or your medicine is “Your Own” option , unless you truly are   so poor that you cant afford it then you should fall into a safety net.

            The Global Capitalistic design of health care is a poor design when you are forced to choose between your Medicine and Food so that some CEO can get a bigger bonus.

            Private Health Care Insurance is a blight on humanity!

            Paying them so that you may live is akin to racketeering!

            Edit; I would prefer that the Governor stop attacking Medicaid!

          • Anonymous

             What good is more expensive products when you can’t afford them, even if you have a job?

          • Get a Union! 

            Be a Voice and stand up for yourself!

            What good is having the right to collective bargaining when the Employers black ball anyone who trys to!

        • Anonymous

          What did you want him to do for MPB, buy more books? Maine lobster being blocked in Canada is an International issue, do you have a clue what that means? Educate yourself.

          • Lord Whiteman

            My point exactly.  Lepage only helps companies from Canada. When ever Maine has a problem he suddenly becomes Mr small government.

        •  Are you for real because your comments are “out there”.  You honestly believe that Governor LePage or some other governor could have and should have saved the 85 jobs at Mr. Paperback?  Now that is an amazing statement.  Please, tell us how that should have been done.

        • Briney

          It’s Le Page’s  Canadian connection that puzzles me, too.  

          One of his  most recent disturbing actions, or, inaction, you mention, was the Canadian blockade of Maine lobsters.  He had no comment.  Was nowhere to be seen or found.  

          No one ever expects him to reveal why, at age 24, he left Maine to work in a Saint John, N.B.  lumber mill from 1972 to 1979.  The Vietnam War lasted from 1955 to 1975.

  • Anonymous

    Joe Bruno was assistant House leader when A.G. Schneider was House leader. And Joe Bruno was treasurer on Schneider’s failed U.S. Senate campaign. Wow … a prescription plan with safeguards in place in Canada that saves U.S. businesses and state employees money. Competition among businesses is what Republicans like … except here.

  • Anonymous

    “What you’re saying is, you’d rather buy cheaper drugs than hold people to a standard of typical pharmacy practice,” he said. “This is kind of a knee-jerk reaction because nobody’s thinking about public safety here. All they’re thinking about is cheaper drugs.”

    A little arrogant aren’t you, Joe Bruno ……………………………….. Don’t you think that this and other Canadian Companies have safety standards to follow?

    Probably they have cheaper prices because their executives don’t get excessive bonuses, if any or pay kickbacks.

    • When you subscribe to the wal-mart style cheaper is better mentality for pharmesuticals you end up with backing soda being sold as cancer fighting drugs!

      That’s been proven!

      • Anonymous

        The proof?

        Big pharm sells to Canadians and to the US. Their margin is bigger here because…..?

      • Anonymous

        ““People have been using CanaRX, like Hardwood Products, for years with no problems. “.  Based on this quote from the article, your statement is nonsense.

        • Anonymous

          It IS nonsense. I know someone who has been using them for years and they are fine. Sadly, they wont be using anything anymore- cant afford to buy it here!

        • 60 minutes did an exposer of bakeing  soda being substituted for cancer fighting drugs, they where sold on the global market through an english company who got the products from Turkey!

          • Anonymous

            So 60 Minutes did a piece on one company who was unscrupulous and you attributed those tactics to all mail-order drug companies?  Good thinking, Dlbrt.

          • The problem was the ability to trace the source overseas.

            If you eat Bad Canned Tuna from Indonesia and get sick do you switch to something more trustworthy or do you get sick again thinking that ALL Tuna can’t be bad?

  • Anonymous

    Joe Bruno, can you say “Conflict of interest”?

  • Anonymous

    Does this include medicinal cannabis? 
    “I’m a pill,  yes, i’m only a pill,  and i’m sitting here on Capitol Hill..”

  • Anonymous

    How anybody struggling with pharmaceutical bills could vote Republican I’ll never know.  The GOP makes perfectly good medications inaccessible, and the reason is obviously because they care more about big corporations than the citizens of our State.

    • Anonymous

      The reason for the high cost of prescription drugs is bigger then any one party. One huge reason is the FDA requiring drug companies to redo studies already conducted in countries like England and published in Lancet because they “weren’t conducted in the U.S.”.

      • So what would you like, other countries running our FDA?

        America is a Sovereign Nation, lets TRY to keep it that way!

        • Anonymous

          Heck, no – we’re much better off the way things are now, with the big pharmaceutical companies running the FDA.

        • No, but having these other countries use FDA Guidelines in their testing process might be a real good first step. It’s called cooperation to get into new market’s. It’s also called smart business since the FDA Guidelline’s have a history of weeding out the dud’s and showing the side effects that might not be found under less strict testing process’s. No one wants to go thru the horror of thalidomide ever again. Adopting the FDA’s safeguard’s might be a good start.

          • Anonymous

            Please don’t kid yourself that the FDA guidelines “weed”out the “dud’s” and those that show “side effects that might not be found under less strict testing process’s” because that is not the case at all. Many, many drugs are recalled because of side effects found in general use or at a higher rate then in pre-release studies.

          • And that is why there needs to be an on-going monitoring program of these drug’s, both here and the one’s from oversea’s, to be sure that when, and if, a problem occur’s that it can be dealt with quickly. Look at the Tylenol scare. Not a nice example but it sure got the FDA out of low gear. Now this same type of problem can be dealt with in less than 12 hours. That’s what the FDA can do. It just needs to be prodded from time to time to keep it ‘reminded’ of just what it needs to do and who it’s responsible to.

          • Anonymous

            I agree about FDA monitoring of the credibility of drugs from whatever country they come from and not be dispersed before they are.  I certainly don’t want to take drugs not pre-approved tested for safety and then released to consumers.

          • ” It’s called cooperation to get into new market’s.  ”
            I hate to be the one to tell ya but that line has been used s for Nafta, Cafta, and Shafta, the end result is always poor quality merchandise at a lower price with ” NO ” jobs in return for the American worker.

            It’s a pathetic excuse for exporting jobs to the benefit of business!

          • Anonymous

             Pay the increased cost then and zip it!!

          • And if you can’t then what ? Do you propose a ‘camp’ system for those that can’t afford a drug here that’s available in Canada at 1/5th the price and just as safe ? Funny, that was seen in Germany in the 30’s. Right along with their so-called ‘Special Hospital’s ‘ for their kid’s that had birth defect’s and the like. And we all saw where that lead. So much for the GOP version of health care.

            And Dlbrt, when the Drug Company’s quit jacking up the price artificially here, claiming they need the price to support their R&D Staff’s cost’s, while the price is affordable in Canada, call me. Until then the Drug Companies get all the ‘short sheeting’ they deserve. The various Drug Company’s make these drug’s here and then try to use the excuse of trade and proprietary secret’s to justify keeping these prices artificially high, also claiming labor cost’s, is an obscenity. Pfizer did that back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. and it cost both them and Connecticut a huge amount of both profit but also a huge amount of talent, and job’s, that went to Merck in Jersey. Connecticut is still paying for that piece of dumb. Now the various Drug Companies are struggling to stay afloat since the public, now becoming aware of the rape of their trust, is going more and more to the overseas pharmacy’s sincethe Drug Company’s are offering various price support and price assistance offer’s. No, the Drug Company’s crying about their monopoly getting shutdown is just fine. And the more that they cry the more they are being seen for what they are. And once ACA comes in, well, the party is really gonna be over……..

          • I do! 

            I boycott Wal-mart and Chinese junk!

            The job that you save may be your own childs future.

      • Anonymous

        Studies conducted outside the USA are perfectly acceptable, and are typically held to the same standard as US studies.

        To wit:

        21 CFR 314.106 – Foreign data.

        (a) General. The acceptance of foreign data in an application generally is governed by 312.120 of this chapter.

        (b) As sole basis for marketing approval. An application based solely on foreign clinical data meeting U.S. criteria for marketing approval may be approved if: (1) The foreign data are applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice; (2) the studies have been performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence; and (3) the data may be considered valid without the need for an on-site inspection by FDA or, if FDA considers such an inspection to be necessary, FDA is able to validate the data through an on-site inspection or other appropriate means. Failure of an application to meet any of these criteria will result in the application not being approvable based on the foreign data alone. FDA will apply this policy in a flexible manner according to the nature of the drug and the data being considered

        • Anonymous

          Matt that may be what U.S. Code says but that is not the general practice of the FDA in many cases.

          • Anonymous

            There are some examples that I know of where the foreign population has different metabolic enzyme activity, and, therefore, the study population isn’t representative of the US population.  I’m sure that it *has* been discovered after the time of submission and the data has been declared inadequate to support a marketing application. However, only a very naive Sponsor would not have addressed this issue with the review division during the End of Phase 2 meeting. That’s what the meeting is for – discussing all the parameters of their planned pivotal trials.

            Sponsors of marketing applications also must provide a rationale for assuming the applicability of foreign data to U.S. population/practice of medicine.

            There is also a Guidance discussing acceptance of foreign data of studies that are not conducted under an IND: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM294729.pdf

    • Anonymous

      If you believe that,  you are delusional.
      Try reading the article this time.  

    • It was illegal to buy drugs from Canada and now the legislature is working on a fix for that to make it legal.  Have you ever wondered why drugs are cheaper in Canada than in the US or do you just blame everything on the republicans?


      • Believe it or not this is one that I agree with you on. R&D costing be dammed, a drug that people can’t afford because it’s that ‘too expensive’ is a drug that’s never gonna be successful on the market. Anyone that’s seen that at the pharmacy counter knows the real truth of that. And not to harp on the subject, when the pharmaceutical industry get’s it’ little ‘racket’ of price fixing and payola of name brand before generic’s being pushed on the public exposed, and that time is coming because of these type program’s, the real reason for the ACA is going to be revisited and seen as not a boogeyman but as one MAJOR reason why this portion of the health care legislation is so desperately needed, by everyone regarless of Party. Health care is needed by everyone, not just those that can afford it.

        And every time time that the drug maker’s come out with their political ad’s all they are doing is keeping that issue right in front of the public. That and every time that the same public has to go to the pharmacy and find out that thy can’t afford their perscription’s and then find out that they are cheaper and available in Canada and the public is reminded of just who and how frequently the public is getting bent over the sawhorse for their medical need’s.

        Like it or not, LePage has an opportunity to actually make a difference for Mainer’s in the health care field here. But to do so is going to require him to stand up to those drug maker’s and Pharmacy Association’s and tell them to go jump on a fire hydrant since he’s responsible to the public and not their campaign contribution’s. That means that he tells Nutting and Bruno, publicly, that he’s going to go ahead with re-vamping the Program, despite all of the Lobbying threat’s to withold campaign contributon’s, and tell the AG to stop being a PITA and get the Program moving by helping it, not trying to strangle it out of political loyalty, and guide the Legislative process as it’s being worked on to meet current reg’s. It’s not hard. All it really requires is a little coordination, not civil war, and Maine as a whole can get back to where it should be, and might actually benefit from now and in the foreseeable future. 

    • Anonymous

      Mmmm, good koolaid.

    • Anonymous

      Uh, two of the three politicians quoted in this article that want to fix this are Republicans.

      How do you twist that into the Republicans being in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies? They’re standing up for the people who need lower cost drugs…

    • Anonymous

      This has NOTHING to do with Republican/Democrat and EVERYTHING to do with making more money for the owners of the drug companies.  Let’s not kid ourselves into believing that everything we don’t like is the fault of the opposing party.  Greed comes in ALL colors.

      • Anonymous

        Absolutely.  Greed is the name for pharmaceutical companies, stocks, and often doctors who invest in those stocks, with MERCK being the best example out there.  Greed Does come in all colors. 

  • Anonymous

    What about the rest of the Mainers, we could use the help with drug costs.

  • Anonymous

    ……”But Joe Bruno, president of the Maine Board of Pharmacy and CEO of the Augusta-based Community Pharmacies chain, warned that a legislative fix is no simple matter”……..
    ……..“What you’re saying is, you’d rather buy cheaper drugs than hold people to a standard of typical pharmacy practice,” he said. “This is kind of a knee-jerk reaction because nobody’s thinking about public safety here. All they’re thinking about is cheaper drugs.”……….

    Public safety my butt! This jerk is full of BS!  When he was in the legislature he used his postion to promote the state spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to healthcare systems and pharmacies owned by him and his wife. He just wants to keep the gravy train running, and not have any competetion.

    Hey Bruno, don’t you think they have competent pharmacists in Canada, or do you believe the USA is the only place that is civilized enough to have people that know something about medications.

    Not one thing this man has to say is worth one second of my time to listen to. He is just trying to fatten his own pocket, at the taxpayers expense.   This bum is a real piece of work!

    • Anonymous

      I bet it would be interesting to go into some of his stores and see how much stuff on the shelves that he stocks……………was made in China.

      Hey Bruno,  how much money do you have to make before it is “enough”?

      Those who worship only the “god of money” are doomed to be disappointed!

      • Anonymous

        The problem is, they’re going to take us down with them.  

        • Anonymous

          IF we don’t vote. It is up to us to get the vote out; not someone else. :)

  • Anonymous

    “no simple matter” my arse!

    The program will save Mainers money, and people need their medicines.  If meds are more expensive then people will either stop taking them, cut funding elsewhere – food, housing, heating, or gas for travel (gas was at 4.15/gallon today).

    Mainers need the help, our gov’t has the ability to ease  suffering, but our gov’t refuses.  Of course those who fight based on the “potency” of canadian medicine have their healthcare costs covered and aren’t affected by the cuts.  

    The whole thing is sickening.

    • Sectar114

      Sorry Maine_mommy…I bet 30 to 40% of the people on meds wouldn’t even need to take them if they took more personality responsibility for their health…I would really love to know the percentage of those folks that smoke for example….”cut funding elsewhere” you say, how about stop buying 6-packs and cigarettes for a start

      • Anonymous

        Spoken like a true blue insurance man.

  • Jazz11

    Let’s get something straight. No drugs because of the Republican’s in Congress being bought off from Big Pharma. End of conversation.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. Legalized bribes are still bribes, regardless if you want to call them “Campaign contributions” from lobbyists or not. It is money traded for business favors, plain and simple.

  • Anonymous

    I want a new drug
    One that won’t spill 
    One that don’t cost too much 
    Or come in a pill

  • Once again, the State of Maine is out-sourcing to other countries to try to save a couple of bucks. That is $3 million that we could put into our own local Rx. And we wonder why the state is broke and why people are leaving the state.

  • Anonymous

    Troy Jackson?   Troy Jackson wants to use a Canadian company to supply prescription drugs to Mainers?  The same Troy Jackson that throws a hissy fit about jobs being lost to Canadian loggers?  That Troy Jackson? 

    Yep.   That Troy Jackson .   Further proof that liberalism is in fact a mental disorder.   Wonder if they’ve got some low-cost prescription Canadian drugs that can treat it…

    • Anonymous

      And all of you who were critical of Gov. Lepage regarding his position on Canadian loggers who are now throwing Joe Bruno under the bus are just as logically inept and hypocritical as the above-mentioned Mr. Jackson.

  • Anonymous

    Part of the problem with expensive drugs is the patent process.  A drug company gets a 10 year patent on a new drug, and if they change one little molecule in the formula, they can patent the drug again for another 10 years.  This means that no generics can be produced and sold.  On another note, can anyone tell me why Allegra was $180 as a prescription, but is around $20 for the same 30-day supply? 

  • in maine

    What I love about this article is that he wants it for state employees.  What about the non state employees and the ones on a fixed income that he has cut benefits for.  It’s okay to do that to our elderly but God forbid the big fat cats that laze around the State House actually have to pay for something.

    • Anonymous

      Shelly, I was wondering the same thing.  Will this be available to everyone, or just state employees?

    • PabMainer

      The article clearly states this Canadian Company is a supplier for non-state employees of the city of Portland and Hardwood Products in Guilford……the successful effort would benefit both state and non-state employees…….

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Pab, guess I missed that part.

  • Anonymous

    That scare tactic of Bruno’s is pure nonsense, spoken from his pocketbook.  I got my Rx filled from Australia, the pills looked the same and I would bet Australian, New Zealand and Canadian standards are equal to ours.  It’s not like our drugs are coming from Zimbabwe or Timbuktu.  They just want to force us to buy more expensive drugs from the US, where drugs are artificially overpriced on purpose.  How about some free market for the pharmaceuticals, how’s that for a compromise.  Joe Bruno, you are paid to yell about this, don’t think we don’t notice.

  • Anonymous

    Forget that the comments come from Bruno for a minute… There are dozens if not hundreds or Canadian mail order pharmacies out there.  If we’re going to allow business and licensing with SOME Canadian pharmacies, then we ought to be clear and set forth the process for ALL non-US mail order companies.  To give just one company an advantage is clear favoritism.  I thought this country was all about competition.  Set the bar high enough and we may end up with more sources of lower cost drugs… or not.  Whether Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, can’t you see the point?  Set the rules for safety and traceability for all non-US pharmacies and let the ones that meet the rules do business, or enforce the existing law and let none of them do business.  If the law is broken, fix the law.  Otherwise this is no better than any other ‘good ole’ boy’ fix – one that should be shunned by BOTH parties.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if schneider just had this revelation in a dream one night about the CanaRX people or has he been reminded by bruno just where his bread is buttered and by who.That wouldnt happen the ag is a fine upstanding,hard working state employee.NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!  

  • Anonymous

    If we can protect our pharmaceutical industry using the argument that other countries can’t guarantee they meet our standards, why can’t we do that with other sectors of our economy?

  • Anonymous

    The Maine state AG works for, and is elected by, the majority in the state legislature which is currently the GOP.  Anyone who took management 101 knows full well that the guy at the top, in this case LePage, always wants to look like the good guy so he has his subordinates do the dirty work.  In this case it was AG Scheinder who did the dirty work.  Now LePage gets to come out as the “good guy” trying to restore something he arranged in the first place.  Polite words escape me.

  • Anonymous

    Man I’m getting friggin dizzy with all this political whirlwind.   Oh Calgon take me away.

  • Anonymous

    What is this Flip Flop LePage? Just when you get used to Flip the Liar Romney and Lyin Ryan. Those Tea Republicans are professional Liars that’s for sure.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how many of those people whose supply of cheap medications were planning to vote Republican? The attorney general is a Republican and see what problems his decision caused in just this one state? We can just imagine how much worse off all of us will be if Romney gets into office and overturns the Affordable Health Care Act. Ain’t nobody gonna be able to afford health care anymore.

    • Anonymous

      The 1 % ers could care less if the poor, old and middle class can afford medical treatment. The Republicans just want you to die fast.

  • superdog207

    how about low cost drugs in Maine!!!!!!!!!!! The healthcare of this country is very sad!

  • Anonymous

    Drugs need strict controls, but WINE???

    Finger lakes wineries can’t ship into Maine; the problem isn’t quality but money, since the State loses tax money. 

    Or video gaming.

    Or electric  and natural gas powered cars….major fuels sales tax loss should they be promoted.

  • Anonymous

    Pull the other one, Joe. This is about money, plain and simple. You’d rather have that $3 million of Maine consumers’ money in your pocket than theirs, and you found a way to make it happen. Nice play.

    I suppose those German/French/Swiss/Canadian-made drugs are “improved” by your “blessing” when sold through you? And where is your list of the problems created by the CanaRX sales? Could you find even one?

    Hopefully people know that Big Pharma is multinational and that many (if not most) new drugs are discovered and made outside the USA? (I know – amazing isn’t it? We don’t invent everything.) Sure, the FDA has a function (and the USA is a huge market) but most of these drugs will also go through regulation in Europe (for example) first. I see Thalidomide used as an example of a problem. Could someone provide one from this century?

  • Anonymous

    BTW, I should point out that the only reason CanaRX can sell drugs more cheaply is that many Americans are paying too much. Take one of Maine’s most favorite drugs, Oxycodone (discovered in Germany in 1916 – I KNOW – we should use only US-invented drugs!) 


    If it sells for – say $1/dose (we’re talking legal sales) to a hospital, it probably costs 1¢ to make. But the economics are complex – most drug research is unsuccessful and many billions (dollars, euros, whatever) end up wasted or at least not immediately rewarding. So, when a drug is a “hit” it has to pay for its own development, AND all that failed research. The actual cost of manufacture is often tiny.

    Once the development costs of the new drug are paid off, the patents preventing “copycats” drugs allow the inventor to make huge profits until the patents lapse. You know about Aspirin, right? Also German. Now generic and available for less than 1¢/tablet (interesting story, Aspirin).

    Anyway, what with all the socialized healthcare systems in the rest of the world with money, it’s difficult for Big Pharma to pay off those up-front development costs quickly. Where can they find suckers (oops – I mean customers) willing to pay HUGE amounts for drugs willingly? Why, the USA! 

    So Americans paying more for drugs allows Big Pharma to sell them for less everywhere else. Thanks America!

  • Anonymous

    I thought he wanted to improve business in Maine so Maine citizens also United States citizens could have jobs in the United States and Maine. Buying medications from a Canadian firm creates Canadian jobs, not American jobs.

    It’s about the money not the promises?

You may also like