The Canadian mail-order prescription firm CanaRx halted its contracts with the state, one business and the city of Portland in August after a decision by Attorney General William Schneider stated that the foreign business could not be licensed to operate in Maine.
State officials overseeing the MaineMeds program, which contracted with the Canadian company to deliver prescription medication to state employees, their dependants and retirees who don't qualify for Medicare, told the Bangor Daily News that the program was expected to save the state more than $3 million by the end of the fiscal year, which ends in June 2013.
For the city of Portland, the ruling means the end of prescription service for 220 city employees, which city officials said creates a $200,000 budget gap. The Guilford-based Hardwood Products Co., which has held a prescription contract with CanaRx for seven years, said that the ruling could cost the company up to $140,000 this year.
Mary Anne Turowski, director of politics and legislation for the Maine State Employees Association, told the BDN that her union plans to submit a bill to change the law to allow Maine to license international mail-order pharmacies, like CanaRx. The company's representatives said they would support such a measure, which would await the 126th Legislature's reconvening in December.