Yesterday, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate called the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, which, if passed, would legalize the importation of lower cost medications from Canada, by wholesalers for re-sale and individuals for personal use. I support this bill as a great step in the right direction to reign in drug prices. The bill’s sponsors, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Bob Casey (D-PA) are to be commended. Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced a companion bill in the House. You can watch the press conference announcing the new importation legislation above.
If passed, the new bill directs the FDA to finally help Americans do what they do already, but they would have new FDA assurances, which is purchase lower cost medication from safe international online pharmacies. It also would allow wholesalers in the U.S. to buy medications at lower cost from FDA-registered Canadian wholesalers, so that U.S. retail pharmacies can charge lower prices, too, which will mean fewer international, online retail sales.
For the last 15 years, we’ve been verifying international online pharmacies, ones that extend beyond Canada, and comparing their prices. Empirical and peer-reviewed literature studying online pharmacies demonstrates the significant savings consumers find through safe importation. We know for a fact this works.
I’ve criticized the FDA, sometimes, perhaps, without restraint, for their consumer education programs about buying medications online. While the FDA doesn’t prosecute individuals for importing small quantities of medication, they have placed a blanket warning against online medications for personal import, which I believe scares consumers away from medication they can afford. But it’s up to Congress and the president to lead on this issue. And this bill is an example of leadership!
If the bill becomes law, PharmacyChecker.com will continue to verify safe international online pharmacies and compare their drug prices, in accordance with our standards and rules. We will gladly support FDA’s new role in verifying and identifying safe Canadian online pharmacies, and educate consumers about it so they can make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.affordable and safe prescription drug importation act, booker, casey, cummings, doggett, S469, sanders