The New York Times reports that the prescription-drug cartel has declared war:
Brand-name drug makers have stepped up their drive to curtail exports of cheap medicines from Canada to the United States, raising prices in Canada for the first time in several years and imposing new restrictions on sales to Canadian pharmacies.
Using loopholes in Canadian government price controls, several companies have raised drug prices 4 to 8 percent since the summer. Pfizer Canada recently notified customers of price increases on "the majority" of its drugs, the first such increases in a decade. GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and Bayer have also lifted prices on many of their prescription drugs, including Zantac, Prozac and Cipro.
On another front, AstraZeneca has imposed stricter sales conditions on Canadian drugstores, requiring written assurance that its products would not be made available for export....
And if that doesn't work, the drug kingpins might try this:
One drug industry executive in the United States said that the gap in American and Canadian medicine prices might discourage manufacturers from releasing some new drugs in Canada.
"From now on, if the Canadians don't give us a price close to our United States price, I'm not selling it there," he said.
Buying prescription drugs is really starting to seem a bit like buying those other drugs we used to buy:
...Billy Shawn, owner of The Canadian Drug Store, one of the biggest online operators, said ... that doing business had become more difficult.
"The guys who really need to get supply, get it," Mr. Shawn said. The difference, he said, was that the clampdown by the pharmaceutical groups "has changed the amount of effort it takes to purchase supplies every day."
"What used to take 15 minutes now takes two or three hours," he said.
But seriously: It was inevitable that a few well-meaning American politicians were going to be no match for Big Pharma. I fear the drug kingpins are going to win this fight -- unless we fight back harder. Remember, a lot of these guys make nonessential over-the-counter drugs and other items. These products can be boycotted.