The Partnership for Safe Medicines applauds the passage of the SUPPORT Act, an $8 billion package which will help develop non-addictive painkillers, improve prescription drug monitoring programs, establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers, and strengthen Customs and Border Protection’s ability to intercept fentanyl that is illegally shipped into the United States.
As a licensed pharmacist, I’m all too familiar with patients’ difficulties getting medications they need and their physician has prescribed. As baby boomers age, pharmacists see more patients at our counters unable to obtain needed treatments for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. This issue is now being acknowledged and a healthy debate has begun over possible solutions. But one idea policymakers shouldn’t pursue is opening up our country’s secure drug supply to medicines coming from outside our borders.
In this May 31, 2018 editorial for The Daily Caller, pharmacoeconomic expert Dr. Marv Shepherd explains the concrete reasons why the importation of drugs from other countries as a means to lowering prices in the U.S. is both unsafe and economically unsound.
The most recent editorial in Stat advocating black market drug importation under the guise of “ordering prescription drugs abroad” overlooks many safety dangers. The most important oversight is in the characterization of the cost of medications. Over 80% of all medications dispensed in the U.S. are dispensed as generic, and generics as a whole are cheaper in America than Canada. But importation proponents often ignore generics and cite brand name price comparisons to justify their flawed policies. The Stat editorial falls into the same trap. It cites a price list from PharmacyChecker.com comparing prices for medications in the US versus…
Patients are growing concerned about reports of counterfeit drugs being provided by doctors. Patients can protect themselves by asking their physicians questions about the origins of medicines they receive in their doctor’s office.
Read more about what patients can do to stay safe.