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FDA warns on drugs from Canada

WASHINGTON -- The US government said yesterday that intercepted drugs purportedly sent from Canada, made and shipped elsewhere, had been subject to Canadian recall and had cheaper generic counterparts in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration said the 439 packages of prescription drugs were ordered by Americans from the website www.CanadaRx.com.

Customs agents in Miami intercepted the drugs that they said had been shipped from CanadaRx's office in the Bahamas.

None appeared to have been made in the United States. Many had unstated dosages and suspicious labels. Some appeared to have been made in Singapore, Japan, and New Zealand.

Fully half had generic equivalents for sale cheaper here, William Hubbard, FDA associate commissioner for policy and planning, wrote in a letter sent to Representative Bernard Sanders, a Vermont Independent, and four other members of Congress.

''What we're trying to paint in this letter is a series of . . . abnormalities," Hubbard said.

The agency also alleged that CanadaRx opened the division in the Bahamas to evade regulation by either American and Canadian authorities.

The website says the company works with many pharmacies licensed in Canada to help Americans avoid paying higher prices for medications than Canada offers.

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