Drug Importation in New Mexico: An Overview
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.
New Mexico published the draft of its application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and submitted the final version to HHS in December 2020. Consult PSM's analysis on the right to learn more about their proposed plans.
Official actions and statements
- Legislative Health and Human Services Committee meeting, August 11, 2022 update: recording | slides (.pdf)
- Submitted final application in December 2020.
- Released draft application to U.S. HHS, October 28, 2020
- Governor Lujan Grisham signed SB1 into law March 4, 2020
- Bill introduced to the New Mexico Senate January 15, 2020
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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PSM's Analysis of New Mexico's Application
New Mexico's October 2020 draft application was very close to its final submission in December
To get up to speed:
- Read "What is Drug Importation?," a short primer and guide to keeping New Mexico residents safe and learning the myths of Canadian drug importation.
- Catch up on our analysis:
Watch our video and read the accompanying blog to hear our analysis of New Mexico's draft application.
On Tuesday, December 2, 2020, New Mexico conducted their one and only public hearing on their plan to import medicine from Canada (over Canada’s objections). While the hearing was largely a formality, there was some interesting testimony.
The state of New Mexico released a draft of its Canadian drug importation plan. PSM analyzed the plan, paying particular attention to concerns pharmacists might have about how drug importation might affect their patients and business…
New Mexico Pharmacists Association Expresses Concern Over Allowing Drug Importation In Letter to Congress
The New Mexico Pharmacists Association recently sent their own letter to members of Congress expressing their concerns about allowing drug importation. PSM had the chance to speak with their executive director to learn more about the realities and misconceptions that people have about prescription drugs and drug importation…
Recent Statements Opposing Canadian Drug Importation
- American Pharmacists Association
- Canadian Pharmacists Association
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
- Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management
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."