TORONTO — In 2001, an Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled that two partners had executed a shotgun buy-sell against William Shawn, a shareholder of The Canadian Drugstore Inc. The ruling gave Mr. Shawn 30 days to buy out his partners.
The Canadian Drugstore was the first supplier of Canadian prescription drugs to American seniors. It provided uninsured seniors with prescribed medications for such chronic conditions as heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as treatments for cancer.
But The Canadian Drugstore generated a lot of press and soon the company – and the industry – were front-page news. More and more, people in the US started asking why their seniors could not afford the drugs they needed. And the whole subject became a political hot potato in both countries.
To end the political problems and protect the pharmaceutical companies, the US Administration pushed for a universal Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
It was passed into law in November 2005.
While the regulatory bodies were trying to find ways to end the business, nature was taking its own course.
The rising Canadian dollar was killing the business and so Canadian internet pharmacies started to move off shore.
The industry has changed. Now, it sells generic Cialis from India or branded Celebrex from Israel.
The Canadian Drugstore was sold this month. The business lasted longer than we expected but we were sorry to see it go.
We made some money and had some fun. But more important than the money or the fun is this: a simple buy-sell agreement and the people at The Canadian Drugstore have changed, for the better, the lives of tens of millions of American seniors in a way that very few people ever get to do.