The Bosten Tea Party and Today's Drug Controversy

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by Tannis gross

Today's drug import controversy is reminiscent of the
Boston Tea Party. The escalating cost of prescription drugs
is more than some Americans can bear, perhaps even bordering
on unfair profits at the expense of the sick and the

In 1773, a group of Boston citizens, motivated by Patriot
Samuel Adams, protested a punitive British tax on tea
imported to the colonies. British Parliament had repealed
almost all import taxes but enforced the tax on tea. Many
consider The Boston Tea Party as one of the most effective
pieces of political theater ever staged.

John Adams wrote of the protest: "There is a dignity, a
majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots
that I greatly admire."

Today's revolution is led by American politicians and
citizens looking for fair drug pricing and finding it in
Canada where they can save up to 80 percent on the exact
same drugs purchased at their local pharmacy.

The pharmaceutical industry ranks #1 in profit among all
Fortune 500 industries. They often cite the cost of
research as a reason for increasing drug prices but fail
to mention the billions of dollars in government subsidies
they receive. They also fail to mention the incredible
amount of money ($13.9 billion in 1999) spent on
advertising. Many prescription drugs are 30 to 80 percent
cheaper in Canada and Mexico.

About 50 members of the political organization, The Sons of
Liberty, carried out the Boston Tea Party action. They
boarded three British ships in Boston Harbor and, in a very
orderly and quiet fashion, poured 342 chests of Darjeeling
tea into the sea.

The Boston Tea Party was a protest of British tax policies.
It came in the midst of a boycott of English tea during
which the East India Company, which owned the tea, had seen
its profits plummet in the wake of a boycott of tea in the
colonies. Consumption in the colonies had fallen from
900,000 lbs. in 1769 to 237,000 lbs. just 3 years later.

While some American citizens are beginning to boycott
Glaxo-Smith drugs, others dependent on prescription drugs
cannot go without life-saving drugs, but are protesting by
the hundreds of thousands by legally ordering their
prescriptions online from Canadian drug companies like
Canadian Pharmacy Express at Access that
giant British drug companies like GlaxoSmithKline have
threatened to shut down.

The protest started with busloads of Americans, some led
by their political representatives, flocking to Canada to
purchase up to 90-day supplies of their prescription drugs.
Today, they are ordering online.

Canada Pharmacy Express and other Canadian online
pharmacies help Americans get the prescription drugs they
need at more affordable prices by passing along two unique
Canadian advantages to its US customers:

Firstly, the Canadian federal government negotiates the
price of prescription drugs through its national Medicare

Secondly, the Canadian dollar is undervalued compared to
the American dollar. At the current exchange rate, $100
American buys about $150 Canadian, making the already
low cost of prescription drugs in Canada all the more

In 2001, Americans spent over $200 billion on
prescription drugs, more than double what they spent
five years ago. It is not likely the increases will stop.

Ordering drugs through Canadian pharmacies is legal and
safe. When you send in your prescription, a Canadian
doctor reviews your medical questionnaire along with
your prescription to ensure your safety. If any questions
arise, the doctor will call your personal physician or
you for clarification.

However, how long will Americans be able to access this
cost-saving service?

GlaxoSmithKline has threatened to cut off the supply of
drugs to Canadian companies selling drugs to Americans.
In response, Canadian companies have threatened lawsuits
alleging unfair practices and trade violations.

In 1773, American Patriots protested unfair taxation from
Britain with the Boston Tea Party. Is it time for a Boston
Drug Party?


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