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News Releases for April 2004

April 6, 2004
For further information, please Contact the Governor's Office

Hoeven Launches The North Dakota Prescription Drug Guide

BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. John Hoeven today launched the North Dakota Prescription Drug Guide, the state’s new web site with links to lower priced medications for North Dakota citizens, including an option to purchase less expensive drugs from local pharmacies.

“People need help with the high cost of prescription drugs, especially our elderly,” Hoeven said. “We want to make sure that North Dakotans not only have access to affordable and safe drugs, but that they have as their first option the convenience of buying them from their local pharmacy. That’s why we’re providing them with all available options as we continue to push for federal authorization allowing our pharmacies to import Canadian drugs.”

Janis Cheney, state director of the American Association of Retired Persons, said, “AARP believes we need to explore a national strategy to contain prescription drug costs. In the meantime, we applaud efforts, like Governor Hoeven's, to connect North Dakotans with information that may help them save money on their prescription drugs.”

The web site offers consumers three ways to save on prescription drugs:

  • North Dakota Preferred Drug List - Created with the assistance of the North Dakota Pharmacy Association, the preferred drug list provides generic and therapeutic alternatives to brand name drugs. Consumers can simply type in the name of a medicine, and a list of alternatives with estimated cost savings appears on the screen. The consumer can print the list and take it to his or her prescribing physician to see if a less expensive alternative is appropriate and may be prescribed.
  • Prescription Connection - The North Dakota Preferred Drug Guide site provides a link to Prescription Connection, which is offered by the North Dakota Insurance Department.
  • Canadian Pharmacies - If unable to use one of the first two options, a third option is to purchase brand name drugs from a Canadian mail order pharmacy. Pharmacies based in Winnipeg, Manitoba are listed. Each is licensed by the Province of Manitoba and certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association.

At the same time, Hoeven wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson notifying him of the launch of the new Web site and urging him to change Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy to allow North Dakota pharmacists to import lower cost Canadian drugs.

In addition, Hoeven will testify before Secretary Thompson’s FDA Task Force on Drug Importation, tentatively in early May.

North Dakotans can access the North Dakota Prescription Drug Guide from the state's home page.

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