Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and a number of their colleagues, introduced legislation Thursday to lower the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs by allowing Americans to import safe, low-cost medicine from Canada. The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act would authorize the secretary of Health and Human Services to allow importation from other advanced countries in two years.
“This is common-sense legislation that will allow middle class families and seniors access to safe, affordable prescription drugs through importation,” Senator Casey said. “No family should lack access to prescription drugs simply because of the cost; this legislation will increase competition and help more patients access life-saving drugs.”
More on the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Act:
The legislation introduced in the Senate and House, the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, would instruct the secretary of Health and Human Services to issue regulations allowing wholesalers, pharmacies and individuals to import qualifying prescription drugs from licensed Canadian sellers. After two years, the secretary would have the authority to permit importation from countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with standards for the approval and sale of prescription drugs that are comparable to those in the United States.
Additional Background On Drug Importation:
President Donald Trump said repeatedly during his campaign that he would take action against drug companies and bring down prices. But in the first seven months of 2018 alone, there were 96 drug price hikes for every price cut. Four major drug manufacturers made more than $50 billion in profits last year, while nearly 1 in 5 American adults cannot afford the medicine are were prescribed.
Meanwhile, in Canada and other major countries, the same medications, manufactured by the same companies in the same factories, are available for a fraction of the price compared to the United States. In 2017, Americans spent $1,208 per person on prescription drugs while Canadians spent $860 and people in the U.K. spent $476.