Canada Prescription Drug Law on Hold

8-31-05 - A new state law that would help Texans buy less expensive prescription drugs from Canada has been halted pending review of a complaint that the provision violates a federal drug import law.

The provision requires the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to inspect up to 10 Canadian pharmacies to ensure they meet Canadian and U.S. safety standards, and post the information on a Web site to help consumers order drugs. The law goes into effect Thursday.

But the board doesn't plan to act on the regulations it has drafted until Attorney General Greg Abbott rules on the legality of the law, said Gay Dodson, the board's executive director/secretary.

The review stems from a letter written by Randall W. Lutter, an acting associate commissioner with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, expressing concerns about potential health and safety risks with the legislation. He said the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act would override the state law.

The State Board of Pharmacy responded to the FDA by seeking Abbott's opinion, which may come late this year, Dodson said.