Congress has prioritized addressing the issue of high drug prices through legislative proposals that are providing hope for the millions of Americans who are often forced to choose between their medications and gas, food, or even their mortgage. This week, Senator Bernie Sanders, along with 19 co-sponsors, introduced legislation to allow the importation of drugs from Canada.
Personal prescription importation from Canada is the simplest, most immediate solution to provide Americans with reasonable access to safe, affordable prescription medications.
Legislative proposals include important safeguards to ensure patient safety.
First, imported medications would come through the supply chains of licensed entities (such as a pharmacy) where the dispensing occurs, which means there is no risk of increased counterfeit manufacturing or trafficking.
Second, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would approve and oversee any entity (such as a pharmacy) that wants to participate in importation from another country, in other words, it is the licensed entity – not the country – that must meet HHS standards.
Finally, the goal of any legislative proposal to allow importation of medication from Canada should be to provide safe and affordable access to prescription medication for U.S. residents. Estimated savings of daily prescription medications obtained through importation from Canada is up to 80% cheaper than purchasing these same medications in the U.S.
We encourage lawmakers to continue fighting for safe and affordable prescription medications for U.S. residents and we support legislative proposals that provide hope to millions of Americans who struggle to pay for life-saving and life-enhancing medications.