Drug Importation in New Mexico: An Overview

Key Resources:

1. What is Drug Importation? A short primer and guide to keeping New Mexico residents safe.

2. Recent Statements Opposing Canadian Drug Importation

3. Prescription Drugs in Wyoming, Evaluating State Policy Options For Lowering Costs (October 1, 2020)
The Wyoming Department of Health concluded that it is "virtually impossible to guarantee that consumers will actually see savings, particularly in the case of Canadian drug importation. Basic economics also suggests fundamental problems with this plan that make it unsustainable in the long-run."

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

News

  • N.M. May Get Med Imports From Canada Under Trump Order, September 25, 2020
    "An outline of the program must be submitted by Dec. 15 to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Morgan said, adding that the public will have a chance to comment on the program before then."

Op-eds from the Experts

Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Warns that Drug Importation Proposals Get It Wrong

May 5, 2017

The Morning Consult recently published an op-ed by Libby Baney, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the growing public health threat of illegal online pharmacies. In the piece, Ms. Baney stated that drug importation proposals are not a safe or effective way to address the rising cost of prescription drugs . . .

Hill Editorial Warns of Health Risks Resulting from Drug Importation Proposals

May 1, 2017

Ronald Piervincenzi, CEO of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention describes the dangerous flaws in any plan to open up U.S. borders to wholesale prescription medication importation from Canada.

National Law Enforcement Group Warns That Drug Importation Will Make Opioid Crisis Worse

April 27, 2017

The Washington Examiner recently ran an op-ed by Charlie Cichon, the Executive Director of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. In it he explained how the opioid crisis will only be made worse if the U.S. allows drug importation.

Pew Trust Warns Senator Sanders that Drug Import Bill Could Compromise the Safety of the U.S. Drug Supply

March 14, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28, Allan Coukell, Senior Director of Health Programs for the Pew Charitable Trusts, wrote Senator Bernie Sanders to ask that he not undermine safety protections for medication with the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

The American Medical Association Opposes Drug Importation

December 13, 2016

In 2016, the American Medical Association reaffirmed its longheld  opposition to drug importation through two policy statements.  The first, “Prescription Drug Importation and Patient Safety D-100.983,” supports only the importation of FDA-approved medicines.  The second, “Federal Regulation and Computerized Tracking of Pharmaceuticals During Shipping and Handling from Manufacture Until Ultimately Received by Patient D-100.985,” promised to actively oppose drug diversion, illegal importation, and drug counterfeiting.

What Trump Should Have Said On Drug Prices

May 11, 2016

Counterfeiting of drugs has exploded since we last had a serious debate about the importation of branded drugs. In just one year, 2013, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute reports that worldwide incidents of pharmaceutical crime rose almost 9%. During one week in 2013, the FDA, in partnership with Interpol, seized $41 million worth of illegal or counterfeit medicines, and shut down over 1,600 illegal online pharmacies. Mexico is a major global source of those fake drugs. Its illicit trade stands at an estimated $650 million per year–equal to 10% of its total drug sales.

Anesthesiologist and AMA Board Trustee Testifies About the Dangers of Imported Drugs (2004)

May 14, 2004

In May 2004, anesthesiologist and American Medical Association trustee Rebecca J. Patchin, MD spoke before the Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Drug Importation to express concern about the safety and reliability of imported drugs.