While working to find a way to provide relief to patients at the pharmacy counter, American politicians again look to the idea of drug importation as a possible solution. Looking at all the evidence, the Partnership for Safe Medicines believes such plans will not only make no difference in reducing patient out-of-pocket costs, but will open the door to counterfeit and substandard medication at a time when we are already struggling with an opioid crisis. Additionally, the flood of counterfeit medical products during the pandemic shows that we are particularly unprepared to find and intercept counterfeit medicines that might come in through foreign drug importation.
Below is a selection of recent statements opposed to drug importation.
"Health Canada is concerned about bulk importation. Our distributors are concerned, and I would say that our manufacturers are concerned as well about these proposals because it is something that can [be a] risk to our drug supply." Christina Cella, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists Watch the highlights of Christina's appearance at our Virtual Hill Briefing
"You have all these illicit pharmaceutical drugs that are now entering into the country that are not being vetted in any way." Mark Baughman, 35 year law enforcement veteran (DEA, NCIS, PInellas County Sheriff's Office) Watch the highlights of Mark's appearance at our Virtual Hill Briefing
"The idea that we can safely buy prescription drugs from Canada is a fallacy. Simple logic tells us that it can’t possibly be done without risking public health." - Dr. Kenneth McCall, B.S., Pharm.D., BCGP, RPh, FAPhA, Professor of Pharmacy, University of New England
“Countless American patients have learned the hard way that ‘Canadian’ online pharmacies are often not Canadian. In recent years, thousands of patients across the country have been exposed to counterfeit drugs. Some have suffered serious injury and some have died as a result.”
"Pursuing lower prescription drug prices for Americans is a laudable goal, but ransacking foreign medicine cabinets and importing market-distorting, socialist price controls are not the answers." Kent Kaiser, Ph.D., Executive Director, Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity
"Strategies such as this are merely 'band-aid' schemes that ignore underlying problems in the health care system and delay much-needed reforms that could give consumers lasting benefits..." Gerard Scimeca, Chairman, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
"Drug importation will not only fail to lower prices but also compromise the safety and efficacy of the United States healthcare system, including future cures." Tom Schatz, President, CCAGW
"While we appreciate a dynamic and consumer driven approach to tackling rising drug
costs in the United States, we do not agree that importation is an effective solution to systemic
domestic drug pricing issues and must voice our opposition to expanding importation laws that,
in effect, pose risks to patient health and public safety or bifurcate care." Signed by over thirty five national and state pharmacy associations
"On behalf of the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), our 40 state narcotic officers associations members, and our thousands of drug law enforcement officers across the nation to voice our opposition to legislative proposals that will allow the importation of unapproved, counterfeit foreign prescription drugs into the United States. - Bob Bushman, President, National Narcotic Officers' Associations' Coalition