Canadian Drug Seizures Subside but Serious Questions Remain

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Ever since Nov. 17th, 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been busy seizing Canadian drug packages without warning, leaving thousands of Americans without their medications. Although the campaign seems to have ended, questions remain about whether its conspicuous timing is related to the troubled Medicare Part D prescription program and if the FDA is responsible

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It's clear this is a scheme designed to force seniors into the new Medicare prescription drug plan.

Calgary, Canada March 16, 2006 – U.S. consumers have been victimized yet again – this time by their own government. Ever since mid-November patients who order their medication from licensed online Canadian pharmacies like Minit Drugs ( have had to endure annoying and potentially dangerous confiscations of their packages by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Seizure rates escalated nearly ten-fold that of previous blitzes and appeared to be highly coordinated at 4 major mail hubs where CBP and FDA staff work closely together.

In an apparent policy shift, Customs staff seized and confiscated more than 13,000 packages that included sending intimidating notices to alarmed patients who were expecting their drugs, not confiscation letters. Interdictions deliberately targeted packages that contained non-controlled treatments like chronic heart and diabetic medications. Many patients were put at undue risk of an adverse event or even death by having their therapy interrupted. Although this reckless but deliberate operation appears to have abated, even legislators are questioning if it was a politically motivated attempt to forcibly eliminate competition for the beleaguered Medicare Part D program.

"Seniors on fixed incomes rely on Canadian pharmacies because it's still cheaper than Medicare," says Senator Bill Nelson, D-Florida. “It's clear this is a scheme designed to force seniors into the new Medicare prescription drug plan.”

"People with serious health problems were left with no medication and without any advance notification," Nelson added.

Eleven House representatives offered similar sentiments in a letter to CBP drafted by Reps. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., and Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill. "We believe this unannounced policy of increased enforcement is irresponsible. This action fuels the criticism that our government is more interested in protecting the profits of the pharmaceutical industry than the health of its citizens."

Canadian pharmacies like Minit Drugs (] wish to thank U.S. patients for enduring through the blitz. “We always re-ship medications that have been seized as a courtesy but many patients were inconvenienced and needlessly scared,” says Barney Britton, President of Minit Drugs.

“There is no question it was orchestrated by the FDA as a tactic to intimidate patients. Let’s hope they will put people above politics in the future and avoid this nonsense.”

Minit Drugs is a licensed pharmacy located in Calgary, Alberta (AB License # 1657), is CIPA certified and IMPAC accredited. All Canadian drugs are approved by Health Canada and dispensed by licensed pharmacists.


Barney Britton

President, Minit Drugs

Ph. 1-877-530-3743


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Minit Drugs
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