W. Va. Governor Asks Drug Makers to Match Canadian Prices

West Virginia Governor Bob Wise has mailed letters to prescription drug manufacturer CEOs asking them to match the lower prices charged in Canada, the Charleston Daily Mail reports. In the letter, Wise said, "Residents of other countries pay much lower prices. We want West Virginians to pay the same price as the people in Canada."

According to the governor's office, prices for the popular arthritis drug Celebrex range from $78.99 per month at Kmart to $93.09 at Kroger, and $71.33 a month from DrugStore.com. In Canada, a month's supply of Celebrex costs $46.

A month's supply of the antihistamine Claritin retails in Canada for $32, compared to $177.37 at Big Bear and $92.26 at the Drug Emporium, Wise said.

Wise said drug manufacturers have resisted negotiating with the state for lower Medicaid drug prices. 'Yet drug companies continue to funnel money through your trade organizations to fund advertising and public relations campaigns that do nothing but spread lies and half-truths," Wise wrote to the CEOs.

"As of today, I am putting you and your colleagues on notice that the tactics being employed or being contemplated by the industry you represent are unacceptable to me and to the citizens of the state of West Virginia. I believe that most other governors agree with me, and I am prepared to enlist their support'

To read the full story in the Charleston Daily Mail, go to: http://www.dailymail.com/news/News/2002100735/