National campaign targets Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook over drug importation issue

Monday, July 21st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The debate over importing prescription drugs is heating up on Capitol Hill and in Oklahoma mailboxes.

The Senior Coalition is canvassing the nation with a blitz of newspaper ads and mailbox fliers against drug importation. They cite a safety issue and urging citizens to call lawmakers.

In Oklahoma, the flyers target Congressman Ernest Istook because he backs a bill allowing the drugs to be shipped. Istook says seniors he's talked with want imported drugs. Joe Deghi runs RX Depot and says his customers are also not buying into the campaign. "I’ve had people come in who if they could save 200 dollars a month, that made all the difference in the world."

Congressman Ernest Istook, “I think you have a lot of intelligent seniors citizens and other consumers out there, they see the problem, they've become informed and they see these arguments for what they are, they're just political smokescreens people are putting up."

Istook says a bill creating safety standards for imported drugs is in the works. Istook also says the print campaign or calls to his office won't sway him on the issue.