With drug importation champion Senator Byron Dorgan’s departure from the Senate, advocates for lower drug prices were concerned that no one would step up to the plate. Raising the issue from the dead, in an interview yesterday with IowaPolitics.com, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who supported the Dorgan bill, has boldly picked up the torch unambiguously voicing his continuing support of the legislation to allow lower priced drug imports.
Senator Grassley’s frames the issue as follows:
“Giving American consumers access to imported prescription drugs would force pharmaceutical companies to re-evaluate this unfair pricing strategy and drive U.S. prices down. It’s a free-trade issue. American consumers are able to buy almost every other product available from other countries. The same should be true for prescription drugs.”
It is estimated that at least one million Americans a year personally import their prescription medication, pursuant to a valid prescription, despite its current technical illegality. The last attempt to legalize personal drug importation (in order to bring down prescription drug prices for Americans) was Senator Dorgan’s proposed amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2009. The amendment would have lifted the federal ban, ending any unjust stigma associated with Americans buying drugs from legitimate pharmacies in Canada and other countries. The amendment, which contained the provisions of the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act, garnered 51 votes for, and 48 against, nine shy of the 60 votes needed for passage under senate rules.
In his interview with IowaPolitics.com, Senator Grassley also emphasized the importance of the generic market for prescription savings. Working with Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Sen. Grassley voiced support for legislation that would make it more difficult for brand and generic drug companies to enter agreements that slow the pace at which generic drugs reach the market.
On both of these issues, we at PharmacyChecker.com couldn’t agree more.Tagged with: Dorgan, Drug Importation, generic drugs, Heath Care Act, IowaPolitics.com, lower prices, Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2009, personal drug importation, pharmaceutical companies, Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act, prescriptions, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Herb Kohl, United States