Drug Importation in New Mexico: An Overview

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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

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

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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,…

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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.

Academic Warns That State Drug Importation Proposals Threaten Patients and Innovation

January 10, 2020

This editorial by Dr. Kristina M. L. Acri née Lybecker was published in IP Watchdog on January 2, 2020. Dr. Acri is an Associate Professor of Economics at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and Chair of the Department of Economics and Business.

What Canadians Are Saying About Drug Importation, January – December 2019

December 18, 2019

What Canadians Are Saying About Drug Importation January 2019 – December 2019 Download a copy of this page. Canadians worried by plan to let Americans import drugs (8/1/2019) “It’s clear to us that whatever measures need to be put in place to prevent, for example, large-scale importation by online pharmacies or large-scale importation by large…

“Importation isn’t merely impractical — it is potentially dangerous.” – Sally Pipes

December 16, 2019

This editorial by Sally Pipes was published in The Sun Journal on December 16, 2019. Pipes is president, CEO and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute.