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."

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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

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

“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.

PSM’s Executive Director Speaks on Morning Wakeup with Dave Akerly to Warn Michigan Residents about the Dangers of Drug Importation

December 5, 2019

PSM’s Executive Director Shabbir Safdar spoke with Dave Akerly on WILS in Lansing, Michigan about the importation proposal currently being debated in the Michigan House of Representatives. Safdar was enroute to the Michigan State House to participate in hearings on drug importation being held there. Here why our Executive Director has travelled to Michigan to testify at their drug importation hearing.

Photo of Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera

Lowering prices “must not happen at the expense of public safety,” Utah sheriff says

December 3, 2019

This editorial by Rosie Rivera was published in The Salt Lake Tribune on December 3, 2019. Rivera is the sheriff of Salt Lake County.

Canadian Doctors, Pharmacists, Patient Groups and Government Representatives Consider State Importation Proposals Unfeasible

November 21, 2019

In spite of recent efforts by legislators in Florida, Maine, Colorado, and elsewhere, Canadian patient groups are vocally opposing pending legislation that proposes importing prescription medications from the Canadian drug supply. Paul Blanchard of the New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association told CBC News, “The country’s pharmacists association has been talking to the federal government … to make sure that the federal government and Canada is aware that the Americans are literally knocking on our door.”

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Decries Fake Drug Sales Via Social Media

October 10, 2019

This editorial by Ryan Costello was published in The Philadelphia Enquirer on October 9, 2019. Mr. Costello is a former U.S. Congressman (PA-06), and is now a public policy consultant.

Emory Health Policy Professor Says Drug Importation a Danger to Patient Health

October 8, 2019

This editorial by Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe was published in Town Hall on October 8, 2019. Dr. Thorpe is a professor of health policy at Emory University and chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

photo of the author, C. Michael White

Pharmacy professor: buying prescription drugs from Canada “risky in terms of quality and safety”

September 27, 2019

This editorial by C. Michael White was published in The Conversation on September 27, 2019. White is a professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice for the University of Connecticut.

Former FDA Associate Commissioner Says Canada Cannot Be America’s Pharmacy

September 12, 2019

This editorial by Peter J. Pitts was published in The Washington Times on September 11, 2019. Mr. Pitts is president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner.

Economic Policy Researcher Finds Fault with Federal Drug Importation Plans

August 30, 2019

This editorial by Liam Sigaud was published by Inside Sources on August 27, 2019. Mr. Sigaud is an economic policy researcher who writes for the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit educational and research organization.

Cancer Center Pharmacist in Iowa Worries Drug Importation Will Harm His Patients

August 27, 2019

This editorial by Dana McDougall was published in The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier on August 26, 2019. Mr. McDougall, Pharm.D., BCPS, is a pharmacist with the Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo, Iowa.