Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Google settled a dispute. The details were sealed by mutual agreement. What we know is that Google paid a $500M fine for allowing Canadian Pharmacy ads to appear on Google search result pages.
This is a big victory for drug companies and a big loss for patients with low incomes. With all the corruption and crime going on in the USA, why did the DOJ spent so much time investigating a business practice that was not harming anyone? The answer is that it was harming the big drug companies.
The drug companies probably contacted their friends in Washington and got the DOJ involved. When the drug companies crack their whip the US government responds quickly. When you or I try to get the US government to do something, well you know what happens. When I moved my office two years ago and asked Medicare to change my address it took over ten months. My Medicare correspondence file on this address change was over two inches thick. How many thousands of trees would be cut to make paper if half of the doctors in the USA changed their addresses?
The Minnesota state government actively encouraged its employees to buy drugs from Canadian Pharmacies. The state government even sent inspectors to Canadian pharmacies and certified some of them as good pharmacies. Recommending Canadian pharmacies cannot be that big of a crime.
August 30, 2011: Today I saw a patient of asthma. Her insurance deductible is $5000 a year, so basically she has no insurance for treatment of her asthma. I prescribed a cortisone inhaler, the cheapest one (for equivalent cortisone dose), I think is Pulmicort Flexhaler. It comes in a bottle of 120 puffs, each puff contains 180 mcgm. One bottle costs over $160.
So I called a Canadian Pharmacy to get price over there. The price for 200 mcgm per puff, 200 puffs canister was $98. So the price in Canada is one third of the price in the USA. I advised the patient to get her asthma inhaler from Canada.
Is DOJ going to come after me and fine me for doing something illegal?
I think the DOJ should investigate why drug companies charge American patients two to five times more than they charge Canadian patients for the same drug, made by the same company in the same facility.