Washington, D.C. (May 9, 2019) – Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s comments on drug importation:
“We have worked on this issue for more than 15 years and it is simply not possible to import medicines safely from a foreign country’s drug supply. The existing safety provided to American patients is second to none, but we are facing an unprecedented and global counterfeit medicine crisis. In over half of our states, there have been deaths from counterfeit drugs made with fentanyl. Just last year, a licensed Canadian wholesaler pleaded guilty to sending counterfeit cancer medication to American doctors.
“We can’t ignore the fact that leading organizations and experts from across industries have all actively condemned drug importation. Former FDA commissioners, pharmacy associations, law enforcement groups, patient advocates and others know the risks that drug importation brings to patient health. If drug importation policy is implemented, it will not only impact patient safety in our country. Canada’s population of 36 million would inevitably experience shortages if America’s 300 million began draining its drug supply.
“The safety of our drug supply must not become a political issue. The implications are far too great. Drug importation is a false promise that seven states have already tried to implement without success. It's time to move away from drug importation gimmicks and move toward solutions that will actually bring down the cost of drugs for patients. We look forward to partnering with HHS to identify ways to keep Americans out of harm’s way, not create new avenues for criminals.”
About the Partnership for Safe Medicines
The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) is a public health group comprised of nearly 70 non- profit organizations that are committed to the safety of prescription drugs and protecting consumers against counterfeit, substandard or otherwise unsafe medicines. To learn more, visit www.safemedicines.org.