Drug Importation in New Mexico: An Overview

new-mexico-map-importation-danger

Synopsis:

In March 2020, the Governor of New Mexico signed SB1, a bill which creates a "wholesale prescription drug importation program" to be administered by New Mexico's Department of Health. The bill requires that New Mexico submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in December 2020.

Current status:

New Mexico is developing a plan to submit to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for approval by December 15, 2020.

How should we evaluate this program?

The program hasn't started yet 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

Planning documents

Op-eds from the Experts

Sarah Ruth Bates

“These drugs would go through additional shipping, inspection and repackaging. Why would they be cheaper?”

September 2, 2020

In this editorial, which was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti on September 2, 2020, writer Sarah Ruth Bates explains why Canadian drug importation is too expensive and elaborate a solution to be effective.

Louisiana AG Warns About Counterfeit Pills On College Campuses

August 20, 2020

In this editorial, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry warns parents and students about the dangers posed by counterfeit pills being sold on college campuses.

Photo of patient advocate John Adams

Canadian patient advocate urges American friends to reject the “empty promises” of importation

August 14, 2020

In this August 14, 2020 editorial, Best Medicines Coalition chair John Adams explains why Canadian importation will not lower U.S. medicine prices—and why the “concept of cheap drugs from Canada has never been anything more than a political hallucination.”

Citizens Against Government Waste Warns Drug Importation Executive Orders Will Cost Patients in More Ways Than One

July 28, 2020

In this July 28, 2020 editorial published in the WasteWatcher blog, Elizabeth Wright argues that the administration’s Executive Order will “encourage more illegal behavior and a greater production of counterfeit drugs from countries like China, Mexico, and India.” Wright is the Director of Health and Public Policy for Citizens Against Government Waste

Man presenting on video

May 20, 2020 video: Maine Importation Update

May 20, 2020

Maine submitted a state importation plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently to meet its own May 1, 2020 deadline. Given the deep structural flaws in both the idea of importing medicine from Canada and in Maine’s application to do so, PSM wonders if there is a better use of Maine taxpayer dollars than to continue to pursue this idea.

Executive Director of Colon Cancer Association Warns Against “Ill-Considered Drug Importation Scheme”

March 23, 2020

This editorial by Andrew Spiegel was published in The International Business Times on March 23, 2020. Mr. Spiegel is executive director of the Global Colon Cancer Association and Chair of the World Patient Alliance. President Trump, Price Controls Can’t Combat Coronavirus The U.S. outbreak of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has quickly evolved into a national nightmare.…

State seal of Delaware

Delaware Legislative Group Says Importation only “seems good until one understands the details.”

March 4, 2020

In January, the Delaware’s Interagency Pharmaceuticals Purchasing Study Group opined that that importation was not a viable strategy to lower prescription drug prices.

Former FDA Associate Commissioner Warns of the “Massive Safety Risks of Importation”

March 3, 2020

This editorial by Peter J. Pitts was published in The Times Weekly on March 3, 2020. Mr. Pitts is president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner. Keep Canadian drugs out of U.S. medicine cabinets The Trump administration recently proposed two rules that would allow states, pharmacies,…

photo of Ujjal Dosanjh

Canadian drug importation is “an economic fantasy,” former Canadian health minister says.

March 2, 2020

In this editorial in The Globe and Mail, Ujjal Dosanjh, formerly a federal minister of health and a premier of British Columbia, explains that drug manufacturers have no incentive to sell Canadian provinces more medicine to fill the needs of U.S. residents. Importation will lead to drug shortages in Canada and counterfeit drug trafficking to the U.S.

Canadian health law experts predict: Canada won’t end up as the drugstore to the U.S.

January 16, 2020

This editorial by David C. Rosenbaum and Dara Jospé was published in the Financial Post on January 16, 2020. Rosenbaum is a partner of the law firm Fasken. Jospé is an associate for the same company.