Vitter Agonistes

  • by: |
  • 10/19/2011

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity. Or, as Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Both aphorisms are seem to fit Senator David Vitter who has, once again, offered an amendment to allow drug importation ”from Canada.”

Here are some examples that the State of Minnesota uncovered when they considered engaging in such questionable commerce:

One pharmacy had its pharmacists check 100 new prescriptions or 300 refill prescriptions per hour, a volume so high that there is no way to assure safety.

One pharmacy failed to label its products and several others failed to send any patient drug information to patients receiving prescription drugs.

Drugs requiring refrigeration were being shipped un-refrigerated with no evidence that the products would remain stable.

One pharmacy had no policy in place for drug recalls. Representatives of the pharmacy allegedly said that the patient could contact the pharmacy about a recall "if they wished."

When the FDA launched an investigation, confiscating thousands of drug shipments headed for the United States, the agency discovered that nearly half claimed to be of Canadian origin, but "85 percent of them were from 27 other countries including Iran, Ecuador and China." And 30 of them were counterfeit.

Canadian internet pharmacies -- by their own admission -- are sourcing their drugs from the European Union. And while they may say their drugs come from the United Kingdom, let's not conveniently forget that 20 percent of all the medicines sold in the UK are parallel imported from other nations in the EU -- like Spain, Greece, Portugal and Lithuania.

Drugs “from Canada?” Dangerous.  Unsafe.  Unwise. 

As we honor Dr. king with a new national monument, let us also remember his words, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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