Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who introduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2019, may well emerge as a major champion for Americans who import medicine because the prices are too high here in the U.S.
An astounding thing happened during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on drug prices this past Tuesday. Committee Chairman Grassley asked one of the witnesses, a mother struggling with the cost of insulin for her young adult son, if she had considered importing medicine to afford it.
Think about that.
Under most circumstances, according to the FDA, it’s illegal to import medicine for personal use. And yet at a high-profile Senate committee hearing, the venerable Sen. Grassley seemed genuinely curious why Ms. Sego didn’t get lower-cost medication online from another country.
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Last May, we reported that AARP honored Senator Olympia Snowe (R- Maine) for her ongoing advocacy of policies and initiatives that seek to improve the lives of Americans age 50-plus. The award specifically mentioned her efforts to make safe drug importation legal and more available to help more Americans afford their medication. In our post on this recognition, we predicted that the issue of access to safe drugs would persist in the aftermath of the new healthcare legislation, and we’re now happy to announce that last week Senator Snowe put legalizing drug importation back on the Senate’s agenda.
Senator Snowe has introduced legislation that would amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic act to facilitate drug importation that would effectively lower prescription drug prices. Additionally, the bill would increase U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspections of international manufacturing plants. S. 319, the proposed Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2011, is similar to Senator Snowe’s co-sponsored bill from 2009, also known as the Dorgan Amendment. For more information on the Senator’s past support for personal drug importation, see our post Canadian Pharmacies and Personal Drug Importation Play Critical Role in Greater Healthcare Benefits for Americans. (more…)
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A new SmartMoney.com article entitled Ten Things the FDA Won’t Tell You reaffirms what we’ve reported in the past – when it comes to drug importation for personal use, the FDA generally does not intervene. “Feel free to buy drugs across the border,” the article’s subhead reads. And the FDA confirms, “The agency focuses enforcement only on imports that are intended for resale.”
However, purchasing imported or domestically sold drugs through online pharmacies requires consumer caution, as fraudulent rogue online pharmacies abound. Importantly, the SmartMoney article also references a study conducted by Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute and published in the Public Library of Science, which confirmed that drugs sold on the internet that had been properly verified by either the PharmacyChecker.com Verification Program or the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s VIPPS Program sell genuine medication and require a prescription. (more…)
Tagged with: Congressman Ron Paul, FDA, NABP, Online Pharmacy Verification Services, personal drug importation, Public Library of Science One, Senator Chuck Grassley, SmartMoney, Verification Program, VIPPS