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Drug Maker Gets Dose of Its Own Medicine

February 15, 2003

Re "Senior Groups Begin Boycott of Drug Maker," Feb. 9: The actions of our elected politicians and of the pharmaceutical conglomerates merit close scrutiny with respect to this issue. It has been our elected leaders who, at the behest of large corporations, have trumpeted the merits of global markets and the free flow of capital and labor across national borders. We have watched as corporate citizens have sought out low-cost labor here in the U.S. via liberal immigration policies. We have watched as corporate citizens have abandoned U.S.-based operations and transferred manufacturing, data processing and customer service operations to foreign soil, where labor costs are relatively inexpensive.

Now, as senior citizens attempt to participate in this same global marketplace by exercising discretion in their choice of retail outlets, corporate citizen Glaxo- SmithKline not only cries foul but broadsides the market participants (senior citizens and retailers) by withholding product shipments. If that is not outrageous and obnoxious enough, corporate flack Patty Seif has the effrontery to proclaim that Glaxo's action is being done out of concern for "patient safety." Oh, please!

It appears that when consumers take the initiative to reap the direct benefit of lower costs for themselves, an action that does not boost corporate profitability, the global marketplace is not such a desirable thing.

Dave Perrone

West Hollywood

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I cannot believe the gall of drug maker Glaxo for refusing the regulated sales of its product to Canadian pharmacies because some of the lower-cost prescriptions may end up in the hands of American consumers. Even more ludicrous is the statement that we Americans may be buying unsafe medicines from Canada. We need regulated drug prices here in the U.S. We'd better wake up and do something before every senior is broke after paying these huge prices for medicine. I've rid this home of all Glaxo products.

John Julis

Bellflower

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