Schweitzer Wants State to Get Drugs From Canada

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Gov. Brian Schweitzer says he is seeking federal permission to import cheaper drugs from Canada for use in the state insurance programs.

Schweitzer says the state spends about $100 million a year on prescription drugs for Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program, state employees, and inmates at the prison.

He estimates $40 million could be saved by getting prescription drugs from Canada.

The governor says he envisions the state setting up a deal with a Canadian wholesaler who could mail the drugs to local pharmacies.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it has not seen the request yet and couldn’t comment.

The governor says he believes the agency director can legally grant such a waiver.