Thursday, September 16 2021

Dive brief:

  • UK drugstore chain Great British Drugstore has created an e-commerce site that allows Maine residents to purchase brand name prescription drugs with discounts of up to 70%.

  • The move builds on a one-of-a-kind law passed last June that allows Mainers to purchase prescription drugs from overseas retailers. Most online pharmacies selling in Maine are Canadian, but the law allows pharmacies in Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand to sell there.

  • A group of pharmacies in Maine challenged the law in court, questioning the fairness of foreign competition and raising concerns about drug safety.

Dive overview:

This Maine law allows foreign pharmacies to sell branded prescription drugs online and ship them to addresses in Maine in the hopes of lowering health care costs for its citizens. But Maine pharmacies claim the Great British Drugstore violates US and UK laws by selling overseas. They also question the safety of the drugs, although all drugs are approved by the US Federal Drug Administration and originate from the UK.

This law is unusual in the United States, but could be an example for other states to follow – and an opening for overseas retailers who often get prescription drugs at lower prices – as drug prices are a major concern. for US consumers.

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