Drug Importation in Connecticut: An Overview

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Synopsis:

The Connecticut legislature has not yet advanced bills that have been introduced to legalized importation of drugs from Canada. However, in 2019 the state budgeted funds for the Department of Consumer Protection to hire a project manager to submit a request for approval for a Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program to the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Current status:

Budget documents indicate that Connecticut will be submitting an importation plan to the Department of Health and Human Services in 2020 or 2021.

How should we evaluate this program?

The program hasn't started yet, or even been designed, so there's no way to measure whether it saved money or kept patients safe, both promises made at the time of passage. However, the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act contains requirements for safety requirements built into any such program.

Official actions and statements

Connecticut has made no official statements regarding importation.

Planning documents

  • The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection's 2020 budget

 

Background / resources

Learn more about

Testimony Opposing Importation

Op-eds from the Experts

Former Florida Congresswoman Calls Drug Importation a ‘False Promise’.

June 10, 2022

So, what does all of this have to do with importing drugs from a friendly nation like Canada? The simple, inarguable fact is that, once we open up our drug supply, we can no longer ensure the safety of the products in it.

Director of Health and Science Policy at Citizens Against Government Waste Calls Drug Importation Dangerous

June 10, 2022

Instead of wasting time and money on dangerous and faulty importation proposals, Congress should encourage the FDA to speed up the drug approval process and reduce the cost of program and application fees for future drug development. In 2022, the application fee for a human drug application will cost $1.6 million for drugs that don’t require clinical data and $3.1 million for medicines that do need clinical data.

Connecticut Bioscience Growth Council ED explains why drug importation is “unworkable.”

February 25, 2022

In this February 24, 2022 editorial published on the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s website, Paul Pescatello reviews the practical reasons that mean that importing drugs from Canada will not lower prescription drug prices. Pescatello is the executive director of CBIA’s Bioscience Growth Council and chair of We Work for Health Connecticut.

Counterfeit HIV drug underscores risks of a weaker drug supply chain, advocate warns.

April 13, 2021

ADAP Advocacy Association CEO Brandon M. Macsata wrote this editorial, which appeared on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program’s website on April 1, 2021.

The Association first warned constituents that counterfeit Symtuza had been distributed to three U.S. pharmacies in December 2020, when Janssen issued an alert.

Canada’s Actions a Death-Knell for Drug Importation in Florida

December 9, 2020

This editorial by the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board was published in The Sun Sentinel on December 9, 2020. The Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Rosemary O’Hara, Dan Sweeney, Steve Bousquet and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson.   There Go Those Cheaper Drugs. Remember Florida’s plan to save money by importing prescription drugs in bulk from…

Canadian writer applauds country’s effort to protect its drug supply

December 4, 2020

This editorial by Joyce Nelson appeared in Counter Punch on December 4, 2020. Nelson is a researcher and writer whose work appears in a wide range of magazines, newspapers and websites.

Organizer explains why drug importation is dangerous and “doomed to fail”

December 4, 2020

This editorial, written by Earl D. Fowlkes Jr., appeared in the Washington Blade on December 4, 2020. Fowlkes is the president and CEO of the Center for Black Equity.

Importation was “a waste of valuable federal and state tax dollars,” says fiscally-focused advocacy group

December 4, 2020

In this editorial, which was posted on December 2, 2020, Citizens Against Government Waste decries the expense and futility drug importation.

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“Reducing costs requires more than all of this non–value-added activity,” Expert Says

October 23, 2020

In this October 23, 2020 editorial, which was published in the The American Journal of Managed Care, Michael Abrams explains why drug importation will not save patients money. Abrams is the co-founder and managing partner of Numerof & Associates.

“…barriers will delay or prevent drug importation,” say regulatory experts

October 14, 2020

In this analysis, which was published in Lexology on October 13, 2020, three global regulatory experts examine barriers to drug importation.