Governor & Attorney General to Sue FDA Over Drug ReimportationMontpelier, Vt. — Governor Jim Douglas and Attorney General WilliamSorrell announced August 10 that Vermont will file suit against the Food andDrug Administration (FDA) in U.S. District Court over the issue ofimporting drugs from Canada. Vermont is the first state in the nation tosue the FDA for blocking a responsible reimportation proposal.Vermont had sought a waiver from the FDA authorizing a legal drugreimportation plan. The goal of the pilot project was to demonstrate howa plan could be safely implemented, and ultimately serve as a model forother states to implement similar programs.Douglas and Sorrell agreed the suit was necessary, saying the federalgovernment’s grounds for denying the waiver request are illegitimate.”Vermont presented a legal and responsible plan to import prescriptiondrugs,” Governor Douglas said. “The claims on which they’ve based thisdenial are, in our view, unsubstantiated and we have no choice but topursue any and all legal remedies available. We intend to file suitshortly against the FDA in federal court.””Vermont’s petition was carefully crafted and reasonable,” said Sorrell.”I am amazed that the FDA rejected it, but am looking forward to gettingthis in front of a federal judge.”In response to the FDA’s rejection letter, Administration SecretaryMichael Smith sent a strongly worded reply voicing the administration’sdispleasure at the decision, and informing the FDA that Vermont would befiling a lawsuit.”Your failure to promptly issue regulations to provide for the safeimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, in accordance with section1121 of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Actof 2003, has compromised the ability of any state to adequately addressthis important issue,” Smith said in the letter. “We are, therefore,forced to consider development of a reimportation program that conforms toour interpretation of the current laws, independent of your agency.”In addition, Governor Douglas said he would dispatch the Commissioner ofHealth, Dr. Paul Jarris; Commissioner of Human Resources, Cindy LaWare;and his Legal Counsel, Susanne Young, to review New Hampshire’s plan andpursue a multi-state strategy to assist individuals who want to purchasedrugs in Canada.Governor Douglas noted that reimportation is not a long-term solution andsaid he would continue to urge Congress to take immediate action to reformthe American pharmaceutical marketplace.”Congress should act immediately to legalize the reimportation of lowercost drugs from Canada, increase competition among brand namemanufacturers, speed the approval of generic drugs, preserve states’ability to pool their purchases and negotiate deep discounts withmanufacturers, protect state pharmaceutical programs that may be impactedby the new Medicare law, and review recent increases in the cost ofpharmaceuticals,” Douglas said. “The ultimate goal, of course, is to getthe best deal possible for Vermonters on their prescription drugs at localpharmacies here at home.”Attorney General Sorrell serves as the President of the NationalAssociation of Attorneys General. At that association’s recent annualmeeting, Sorrell announced his presidential initiative to study andrecommend actions in response to the high cost of prescription drugs inthe United States. In commenting on today’s developments, Sorrell stated:”This action by the FDA underscores that, unless we take aggressiveactions, we are going to continue to pay the highest prescription drugprices in the industrialized world.”
A few shouts of “Jol out” could be heard inside Craven Cottage when Fulham conceded a last-minute equaliser at home to West Brom. With just one win under their belts this season, Fulham currently sit in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, but the west London club showed signs of vast improvement in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night. Bent has only made three starts since moving to Craven Cottage because of a hamstring injury. The Aston Villa loanee now has two goals to his name, however, and he is hungry for more. “I’ve come in and want to play games and score as many goals as possible,” Bent told Fulham’s website. “It was nice to come on and pop one in after the Chelsea game where I had a chance but Petr Cech saved it. It was good to get a chance and take it. “I hadn’t discussed it with Giorgos; I just had a look at the situation, he gave me the ball and I got a shot at goal and it managed to go in.” Although the win puts Fulham into the fourth round of the League Cup, Bent knows moving up the league table is Jol’s priority and he now hopes the team can go on an unbeaten run, starting with Saturday’s home game against Cardiff. “There’s no reason why we can’t go on and have a really good season,” Bent said. “”We’ll take great confidence from that performance and now it’s all about Cardiff on Saturday. “You never want to go into a home game having lost your last one so we’ve got the win and we go from there.” Press Association Alexander Kacaniklic believes it was unfair of Fulham fans to call for Martin Jol’s head two weeks ago. Booed off after an unimpressive first-half display, the Cottagers responded well, scoring twice to seal a 2-1 over Everton, who were unbeaten before arriving at Craven Cottage. Kacaniklic owes a lot to Jol after he gave him his first taste of first-team football at Fulham and the 22-year-old is sure that the Dutchman is the right man to lead the west London club up the table. Asked if criticism of Jol was fair, the midfielder said: “No, not really. “We should have won the West Brom game but we were unlucky and it was the same against Newcastle. “He is always encouraging us so we are really happy for him and the team. “We are close. He is always out on the training pitch with us and wants to get involved. “He is great. Everyone has got their own style but, as a player, you want to be able to speak to the manager and have confidence that you can speak to him.” Dimitar Berbatov scored his first of the season to cancel out Steven Naismith’s opener before Darren Bent sealed the win after driving past Joel Robles from a well-worked Giorgos Karagounis free-kick.