Minn. has online Rx for the high cost of drugs

Minnesota has set up a prescription Web site, at www.MinnesotaRXConnect.com, that walks residents through ordering lower-cost medicines from Canadian pharmacies.

Each pharmacy listed on the site has been visited and reviewed for safety standards by officials from the Minnesota Human Services Department and the state's Pharmacy Board. Prescriptions cannot be ordered electronically at the site, however.

Orders, with original written prescriptions, must be mailed or faxed directly to a participating pharmacy.

Most of the medicines listed on the site are for routine maintenance and do not include controlled substances or drugs that need refrigeration.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty wanted Minnesota to lead other states in providing prescriptions at reduced cost, said James Kauth, director of emerging technologies at Minnesota's Office of Technology.

Kauth said his office worked with the Human Services Department to put the site together in about six weeks. It went live in February and received about 50,000 hits the first weekend.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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