Universal Drugstore

January 11, 2005 16:21 ET

Universal Drugstore Vows to Continue Operations If Canadian Government Closes Door to U.S. Citizens Importing Prescription Medications from Canada



JANUARY 11, 2005 - 16:21 ET

Universal Drugstore Vows to Continue Operations If
Canadian Government Closes Door to U.S. Citizens
Importing Prescription Medications from Canada

WINNIPEG, Manitoba--(CCNMatthews - Jan 11, 2005) -

Universaldrugstore.com, one of Canada's largest mail-order pharmacies,
is not threatened by recent dire promises by the Canadian Federal
Government to possibility eliminate the cross border sale of
prescription medications to uninsured and low income Americans.

"Our current customers and our prospective new customers need not
worry," says Jeffrey Uhl, President of Universal Drugstore. "We have
been anticipating such a move by our government for some time now, and
we were not surprised that action to stop prescription drug importation
has progressed so quickly following President George W. Bush's visit
with Prime Minister Paul Martin about six weeks ago."

Universal Drugstore has taken steps over the past year in preparation of
challenges by the pharmaceutical industry and governments on both sides
of the border. While many other Canadian pharmacies have been caught off
guard by the speed at which the Canadian government is progressing,
Universal Drugstore says that they are ready to flip the switch and move

"We have strengthened our network of international partner pharmacies,
developed a steady stream of safe, reliable medicine, and taken steps to
ensure quick and easy delivery to our customers," says Mr. Uhl. "Our
Director of International Affairs has been working diligently to find
the best resources for our customers. He is a pharmacist, as well as a
former independent consultant and analytical writer on international
pharmaceutical issues. His main focus is wholesale and retail
distribution, generics and parallel trade. He oversees procurement,
regulations and safety of our European operations." Uhl continues,
"Standards of pharmacy in Europe mimic or exceed those in Canada, and we
are confident of our continued long term success," he continues. "New
pressure from the Canadian government has caused serious concern for our
patients whose access to affordable medicine appears to be threatened.
We want to assure our customers that we will be here for them. We have
an ethical and moral obligation to all of our customers that rely on our
services. Their medications will remain available through our service."

Mr. Uhl who is cautiously optimistic about what will happen to other
mail order pharmacies and the effect these actions may have on the
industry in Canada says, "Many have looked to us to create strategic
alliances and European partnership arrangements. Unfortunately, we can't
help all the other Canadian pharmacies. Our investments in technology,
people and foreign pharmacy inspections have paid tremendous dividends
for us and are the keys to our future. We have not been fiddling while
Rome is burning."

Mr. Uhl finds the timing and motives behind the recent push for
regulatory changes by the Canadian government suspicious. "Why, after
four years of allowing this industry to flourish and prosper is it now
questionable?" asks Mr. Uhl. "Is this just a ploy to stop Big Pharma's
recent decrease in profits? Heaven forbid the most profitable industry
in the world would take a miniscule hit to their massive bottom lines so
that the uninsured and poor seniors of the U.S. could obtain affordable

Universal Drugstore remains confident that they will stay in business
and continue to provide Americans with affordably priced medications
even in the face of regulatory pressures by the Canadian Federal
government. They will continue to provide high quality medicines,
obtained from licensed pharmacies in strictly regulated countries from
around the world. "The countries we are looking into are extremely safe
and well regulated. Also, they often have prices that are equal to or
better than in Canada," states Randall Stephanchew. "Our customers will
be delighted with the quality and pricing of medications from our
international pharmacy partners." Mr. Stephanchew (B.Sc.Pharm) has over
14 years experience as a Health Canada official, specializing in
compliance and enforcement, and was instrumental in signing the Mutual
Recognition Agreement between Canada and the European Union. Mr.
Stephanchew is currently the Director of Pharmacy and Professional
Services for Universal Drugstore.

About Universal Drugstore

Universaldrugstore.com is one of the leading online pharmaceutical
providers today. With 12 highly trained pharmacists and 160 employees on
staff, it is one of six pharmacies that originally pioneered the
Canadian Internet pharmacy movement. Universal Drugstore was founded in
early 2002 by pharmacists Jeffrey Uhl (B.Sc.Pharm) and Jeremy Cockerill
(B.Sc.Pharm) and is dedicated to providing low-cost prescription drugs
and quality service to Americans in a safe, convenient and reliable
manner. Universal Drugstore offers a choice of more than 4,000 brand
name and generic drugs that are delivered directly to consumer's homes
at an average savings of 50%. Universal Drugstore Ltd. is a fully
licensed Canadian Pharmacy, with Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association
license number 32-229.


Contact Information

    Jericho Communications
    Maryann Palumbo, 212-645-6900 x112
    Alison DeSena, 212-645-6900 x125