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The Boston Globe reports that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has launched a pilot program that will permit city employees and retirees to purchase prescription drugs from Canada.

As described by the ,i>Globe, the decision by the city will not have enormous financial implications, cutting just $1 million from the $60 million it spends each year on prescription drugs. And there isn’t an enormous financial incentive for the employees and retirees – the city is waiving the co-payment for people using the Canadian option, but the co-payment for people buying drugs from the US is just $10.

Rather, the decision and its timing is seen as largely political. Menino is the Democratic mayor of the city hosting the Democratic National Convention this week, after all, and the move is a way to criticize the Bush administration for not doing enough to keep prescription drug costs in line.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has criticized the Boston initiative as potentially dangerous. However, FDA has backed off enforcement of current law prohibiting import of drugs from Canada (a practice known as reimportation), and the US Congress is considering legislation that would make reimportation legal.
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