AARP promotes savings from drug re-importation program

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(Host) The state’s largest consumer group, Vermont AARP, is launching a public education campaign to promote a new law that allows individuals to purchase prescription drugs from Canada.

The legislation, which was signed into law in the middle of February by Governor Jim Douglas, makes it possible for Vermonters to buy the 150 most popular drugs directly from a Canadian pharmacy – often at a substantial savings.

Vermont AARP has just sent a mailing out to its 118,000 members in Vermont and State Director Greg Marchildon says hundreds of his group’s members are seeking more information about the program. The response has been so strong that the Canadian pharmacy has added more workers at its call center to keep up with the demand:

(Marchildon) “What we’re excited about is seeing a larger consumer activist base here. They really do want to find lower cost prescription drugs and I think that’s what we’re seeing in the initial response to this mailing. And once folks start to get involved in doing that for themselves, they’re going to lower their costs most of the time.”

(Host) Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Welch says he hopes that the bi-partisan spirit that led to the passage of this legislation will re-emerge as the Senate tackles the larger issue of health care reform the next few weeks:

(Welch) “That’s an approach that I think we have to take in the large health care debate that we’re having now. The House has acted on a bill, the Senate hopes that we can improve it. And we want to work with the administration so that in the end we have white smoke, not black smoke; have lower costs, more accessible health care for every single Vermont citizen.”

(Host) For more information about the drug re-importation program go to

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