Former FBI Director Louis Freeh recently spoke with Tim Farley of The Midday Briefing on Sirius XM’s POTUS Channel on why proposals to allow drug importation would not substantially lower the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. and would make the opioid crisis worse.
Freeh pointed to how law enforcement at all levels across the country depend on the closed drug supply chain to hold people accountable throughout every step of the process from the lab where the pill is made to the pharmacist dispensing the pills to the public. Law enforcement on the local, state and federal levels have limited resources to handle counterfeit drug cases and would quickly be overwhelmed should the closed drug supply chain open to foreign importation.
Freeh warned that allowing drug importation from Canada was akin to allowing drugs to be imported from anywhere. Quality would be at risk, and the opioid crisis, an epidemic that killed over 33,000 Americans in 2015, would only get worse. He said that allowing drug importation, “…will not only fuel that, but it will also, in my opinion, encourage a lot of criminal groups and organizations that heretofore have not been involved in this trade, but will see huge opportunities to enter the market.”
Freeh said that removing the safety measures that keep the drug supply chain secure won’t solve the problems that proponents of importation claim it addresses. “What we don’t need is to take down the regulations that go to the heart of what people rely on when you take a prescription drug: its safety, its efficacy, and its integrity. For decades, every HHS secretary has opposed this. The Canadian authorities have told the Congress in statements that they will not inspect, oversee or regulate in any way the prescription drugs that will be imported from Canada to the United States.
So we have every possible red flag here, and warning that this would be a health and public safety disaster. Whatever we do, and there are some options, we shouldn’t be taking down the regulatory controls and safety oversights of our drugs.”
Freeh Group International Solutions recently released a report titled “Report On The Potential Impact Of Drug Importation Proposals On U.S. Law Enforcement,” which took an in depth look at drug importation proposals and concluded that they would negatively impact law enforcement.