Massachussets mayor in Tulsa to testify on behalf of RX Depot

Wednesday, October 8th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Wednesday, the mayor of a Massachusetts city was in Tulsa to testify on behalf of a Tulsa company, saying the outcome of its federal case could affect people across the country.

Mayor Michael Albano of Springfield, Massachusetts was in Tulsa to defend RX Depot, being sued by the federal government for importing Canadian drugs. The FDA claims the drugs aren't held to the same standards as those in the US, but Albano is the first Mayor in the country to use them in city employee health plans.

He and the owners of RX Depot say this is a matter of big pharmaceutical companies trying to force Americans to pay higher prices. "The FDA likes to say that this is a safety issue, well they're right. When I have to lay off firefighters, that's a safety issue; when I have to lay off police officers that's a safety issue. My prescription drug costs have gone up 100% in Springfield Massachusetts in 8 years."

Albano says Springfield will save enough money in one year to rehire dozens of laid-off police and fire personnel.