Information on Canadian Pharmacies
Senate Bill 410, as enacted by the 79th Legislature and signed by Governor Perry on June 18, 2005, required the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to inspect and authorize Canadian pharmacies to import prescription medications into the State of Texas. The law required that the Board designate from one to ten Canadian pharmacies as having passed inspection, and thus allow the pharmacies to ship prescription drugs into Texas. The Board was also mandated to provide information on these pharmacies on its website to facilitate ordering of drugs by Texas residents.
On June 17, 2005, the Board received a letter from the federal Food and Drug Administration that indicated that the portions of S.B. 410 dealing with Canadian pharmacies are in violation of federal law. Therefore, on June 23, 2005, the Board requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General as to whether federal law preempts the relevant sections of S.B. 410 of the 79th Legislature and, therefore, precludes the implementation of the law by the Board. The Board also requested an opinion on the related question whether it is a violation of federal law for the Board to authorize and promote the importation of pharmaceuticals from Canada.
On December 21, 2005, Attorney General Greg Abbott issued Opinion #GA-0384 in response to the Board's request. The opinion states that designating certain Canadian pharmacies, promoting them on the Board's website, and permitting Texas consumers to import prescription drugs from Canada would violate federal law. Therefore, as a result of the AG's opinion, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy will not implement this legislation.