Drug Importation in Texas: An Overview
The Texas Legislature introduced House Bill 25, the Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Act, in November 2022. PSM shared an analysis of the bill with the Texas House committee that you can read. The bill, which has passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the Governor, will require the executive commissioner of Texas's Health and Human Services Commission to take action to establish Canadian drug importation beginning in September 2023.
Synopsis / Media Contact
H.B. 25 would require Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission to design a program for bulk importing prescription medicines under 21 USC 384 of the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, more commonly known as a Section 804 State Importation Program (SIP).
For over two decades these programs have proven to be impossible to build safely because:
- Canada refuses to release bulk medications to these programs and has taken steps to restrict U.S. access to their drug supply;
- Canada does not have a Track and Trace program;
- The cost of testing imported medication far outweighs the savings; and
- Medicaid programs already get medicine cheaper than Canadian provinces, reducing any potential savings.
This legislation has been pushed without concern for the consequences. As many states discovered during the pandemic trying to buy hard-to-find N95 masks, buying medical products that aren't readily available creates great risk of counterfeit products. PSM believes that the Texas legislature is forcing it's patients and pharmacists to take unacceptable risks with patient health and pharmacist liability by enacting this program without looking at the risks.
PSM Executive Director Shabbir Imber Safdar is available to do interviews to explain the risks of this program to media. Contact him through email@example.com and specify your print deadline.
Background / resources
Just learning about the Texas foreign drug importation proposal? Start with some of these resources that outline the safety issues.
Op-eds from the Experts
In this analysis, which was published in Lexology on October 13, 2020, three global regulatory experts examine barriers to drug importation.
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
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
Executive Director of Colon Cancer Association Warns Against “Ill-Considered Drug Importation Scheme”
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.…
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.
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.
This editorial by Rosie Rivera was published in The Salt Lake Tribune on December 3, 2019. Rivera is the sheriff of Salt Lake County.
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.
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.
This editorial by Dr. Charles S. Shaver was published in The Hamilton Spectator on August 11, 2019. Dr. Shaver i a practicing physician in Ottawa. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Shaver is also past chair of the section on general internal medicine of the Ontario Medical Association.