Partnership for Safe Medicines Applauds Senate Rejection of Unsafe Prescription Drug Importation

Washington, D.C. (May 24, 2012) – Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) president Marvin D. Shepherd, PhD, today released the following statement on the U.S. Senate’s rejection of an amendment by Senator John McCain to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. McCain’s measure failed by a vote of 43-54:

“PSM applauds those Senators who are committed to keeping our drug supply chain secure and our patients safe. Although the United States has the most secure drug supply chain in the world, recent incidents such as the discovery of fake Avastin prove we must remain ever vigilant. Importation would erode the FDA’s ability to regulate prescription medicines and open the door for more criminals to operate bogus online pharmacies that prey upon our citizens. Indeed, FDA Commissioner Hamburg herself has stated that the FDA lacks jurisdiction to control other nations’ supply chains. Today, the Senate rightly voted to keep patient safety first.

“Instead of undermining nearly two decades of progressive drug safety policy by allowing importation, Congress should focus its energies on further strengthening our nation’s drug supply so that dangerous and potentially deadly counterfeit medicines become a thing of the past. PSM remains committed to the fight against unsafe medicines, and we and our partners will continue to vigorously oppose any legislation that threatens Americans and our drug supply.”