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AEI Scholar Calls for the Decriminalization of Personal Drug Importation; Suggests Consumers Check List of Approved Online Pharmacies

As too many Americans skip taking their medication due to cost, the issue of drug affordability is of critical importance to public health. It is also one that politicians ignore or wrongly address to their peril. Urging Republican lawmakers not to ignore Americans who are struggling with high drug prices, Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute recommended a nuanced, free-market approach to the problem of high drug prices. In an article published yesterday by AEI, Mr. Bate called for the decriminalization of personal drug importation and the continued statutory ban on wholesale drug importation. By doing so, more Americans who are disadvantaged by high drug prices can find relief through safe and affordable international online pharmacies, while not undermining pharmaceutical research and development in the United States, which, he argues, relies on the maintenance of our wholesale drug importation laws.

Underscoring Mr. Bate’s position was his recognition, based on his own empirical research, that Americans who purchase brand name prescription drugs from non-U.S. pharmacies could do so with confidence by consulting the approved list of online pharmacies found on

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