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  PHARMACYCHECKER.COM FINDS NO LONG-TERM PRICE IMPACT OF DRUG COMPANY SUPPLY CUTS IN CANADA

— Canadian Pharmacies Working Around Restrictions to Keep Prices Low for Americans

  WHITE PLAINS, NY — March 8, 2004 —PharmacyChecker.com, a website that evaluates Canadian and U.S. online and mail-order pharmacies and compares their prices, reported today that Canadian prices on GlaxoSmithKline products have changed little despite supply restrictions imposed by Glaxo on pharmacies selling to Americans. Restrictions by Pfizer in recent months have also failed to impact prices.

In mid-2003, PharmacyChecker.com had reported steep increases among Glaxo prices, 22% in U.S. dollars (or a 10% increase after accounting for exchange rate changes), following the commencement of supply restrictions by Glaxo in January of that year. From June through January, however, prices fell by 7% in U.S. dollars despite the continued fall of the U.S. dollar. When adjusted for a 16% drop in the value of the U.S. dollar over last year, the prices of Glaxo products have essentially remained the same as when the supply cuts began. At one pharmacy, for example, the price of the popular Glaxo asthma drug Advair Diskus (60 doses, 250 mcg) had risen to $124.70 in June from only $85.48 in March. By the end of 2003, however, the price was down to $98.39, compared to an average U.S. price of $146.99.

Canadian pharmacy prices on Pfizer products increased 8% since its announcement of supply restrictions in August 2003 — but much of that increase can be attributed to a 7.5% fall in the U.S. dollar over that period.

"Our latest data show that supply restrictions have caused only temporary price increases at targeted pharmacies," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of PharmacyChecker.com. "Within a short period, these pharmacies find other wholesalers and retail pharmacies within Canada willing to sell them product. Even before the current drug re-importation craze, pharmacies have worked together in getting supply as long as they have enough for their own customers."

Last week Pfizer cut off supplies completely to two Canadian wholesalers, the first action of its kind. PharmacyChecker.com is monitoring prices to gauge the effect of this action.

Results cited in this release are based on PharmacyChecker.com's price database and are found in its 2003 Mail Order/Online Pharmacy Price Report. PharmacyChecker has evaluated the qualifications of 38 mail order/online pharmacies, of which 30 are Canadian. Many of the top-rated pharmacies now bear PharmacyChecker.com's Seal on their home pages. (More information about the Seal is available at www.pharmacychecker.com/seal.asp.)

PharmacyChecker will be among those presenting at the COPHARM Conference on Online Pharmaceuticals on March 24 and 25 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Price comparisons on over 1,500 medications as well as pharmacy ratings and 40-item profiles are available at www.pharmacychecker.com. PharmacyChecker.com is privately held and based in White Plains, New York. It has no ownership in or from companies that sell or distribute pharmacy products. For more information contact Gabriel Levitt, Director of Research at (718) 387-4526 or gabriel.levitt@pharmacychecker.com.