Originally created 08/25/04

Mayor links to Canadian drugs



COLUMBIA - Columbia Mayor Bob Coble added a link to his personal Web site to direct people to low-cost prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies.

The move by Mr. Coble follows that of several other cities and states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Boston and Washington, D.C., which provide Web links to selected Canadian pharmacies.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration say that when cities direct people to Canadian pharmacies, they expose consumers to unregulated and potentially unsafe drugs. But the FDA has taken no action against state and local governments providing Internet access to Canadian pharmacies.

On Mr. Coble's Web site, he says there are about 48,000 senior citizens and more than 60,000 people in the Midlands who do not have health insurance.

"I believe citizens in Columbia need to have as many alternatives as possible to get their prescription drugs if they do not have prescription drug coverage," Mr. Coble wrote.

Mr. Coble plans to discuss the issue at today's City Council meeting and is seeking support to place a link on the city's official Web site.

The mayor is depending on the judgment of state health officials in Wisconsin to determine whether the drugs are safe.