While the eyes of the world are focused on Dubai and the corrupt port deal snookered by the Bush regime, U.S. Customs is focused on intercepting drug shipments coming from Canada intended for desperate seniors in America.

Medicare D is not working, so many seniors still import their medications from canada.

What exactly is U.S. Customs doing to secure our borders?

Let’s take a look.

This is what the Detroit News is reporting:

Cross-border sales have fallen as much as 30 percent, according to the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, since about 42 million seniors and disabled people became eligible for the federal Medicare drug benefit Jan. 1, and the group says U.S. authorities have stepped up enforcement of laws against importing foreign medicines.

While Mr. Bush assures the American people that US Customs will secure very vulnerable American ports from cargo stuffed with nuclear weapons, he’s also got to keep his promises to the pharmaceutical industry. So patroling the Canadian border and seizing boxes of Lipitor is an equally high priority.

While Andy Troszok, the president of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, blames the business falloff mostly on Medicare, he said U.S. authorities have stepped up seizures of Canadian shipments in the past month. That scares off some customers, though retailers typically reship such orders at no cost to the consumer.


Or this from the LA Times this morning:


“It’s huge — we’ve had over 800 seizures in January,” up from 15 in a typical month, said Barney Britton, president of Calgary-based MinitDrugs.

Other pharmacies reported four- to five-fold increases. An informal survey of 30 Canadian pharmacies that cater to American customers, conducted by a senior-citizen advocacy website, showed that the rise began in November, doubled in December and doubled again in January.

Or this, from the Palm Beach Post


Since the Medicare prescription drug benefit began last month, the federal government has stepped up efforts to block Americans from buying cheaper medicines from Canada by seizing drugs at international mail-processing centers in the U.S., including Miami, according to pharmacy operators on both sides of the border.

One customer of the Canadian pharmacies, Peggy Reece of Royal Palm Beach, thinks the action is part of a Bush administration strategy to increase the number of seniors signing up for Medicare drug coverage, known as Part D.

Securing our borders?

Glenn Voth, a partner with CanAmerica Drugs in Winnipeg, Manitoba, said he has heard that some pharmacies’ entire daily shipments to the United States have been blocked by customs officials.

It doesn’t take a giant leap to conclude that the pharmaceutical industry was promised a crackdown on drugs imported from Canada.  But I suppose no one thought that the stepped up enforcement would coincide with the scrutiny of the port giveaway to Dubai

Since we’re reviewing the shameful Medicare D scandal yet again, there’s a new report from the Campaign for America’s Future which begins to document that American taxpayers are subsidizing an 80 billion dollar giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry and insurance companies.

Institute for America’s Future co-director Roger Hickey said: “In a sellout to the drug companies, Congress prohibited Medicare from negotiating a better price for seniors. Then it threw in billions of subsides to HMOs, adding another layer of confusion, bureaucracy and costs to the program. America’s most vulnerable–seniors in need of prescription drugs–will pay the cost of this corruption.”

Specific provisions of the Medicare prescription drug program inserted at the request of pharmaceutical and HMO interests will cost taxpayers and seniors more than $80 billion a year, according to a report released today by the Institute for America’s Future and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Everyone knows Medicare D, the prescription Drug benefit intended to provide American seniors with affordable prescription drugs is not working, now we know why:

The study, released by a coalition of groups led by the Campaign for America’s Future, Public Campaign Action Fund, USAction and MoveOn.org Political Action, connects the program’s escalating costs and complexity to the influence exerted by lobbyists for health insurance, health services and pharmaceutical companies in drafting the bill. According to the report, industry campaign contributions totaled $96 million from 2000 to 2004, and industry profits will swell by 500 to 600 percent as the new legislation goes into effect.

You can read more here.