Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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PhRMA Lobbying Pays Off Again: Senate Panel Rejects Proposal to Allow Importation of Rx Drugs from Canada

PhRMA Lobbying Pays Off Again: Senate Panel Rejects Proposal to Allow Importation of Rx Drugs from Canada | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

A Senate panel on Thursday rejected a Democratic effort to make it easier for Americans to purchase medications from Canada, where prescription drugs are typically sold at significantly cheaper prices than in the United States.

 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 13-10 along mostly party lines to kill the proposal, which was offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as an amendment to bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize Food and Drug Administration programs.

 

Opponents of easing federal laws on drug importation, including the pharmaceutical lobby, say it could expose Americans to unsafe medicines that haven’t been vetted by U.S. regulators.

 

“This would put Americans at risk of counterfeit and substandard drugs,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said at the markup. “There’s no way for Americans to ensure the drug being dispensed in a Canadian pharmacy is the same drug as what the doctor prescribed.”

 

Sanders said the amendment has provisions to ensure drugs imported from Canada are safe. Opposition to the proposal, he said, is being fueled by lobbying from the drug industry, not out of concern for drug safety.

 

“This amendment is about whether or not we have the courage to stand up to an industry which has spent more than $3 billion lobbying since 1998 to make certain that we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” he said.

 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry’s trade group, said it has concerns about importation proposals in Congress due to safety issues, pointing to counterfeit drugs that reached the United States from China via Mexico and Canada.

 

“Even Canada has said it does not and would not be able to guarantee that U.S. citizens would receive products that are safe, effective and of high quality,” PhRMA spokesman Andrew Powaleny said. “Guaranteeing patient safety is crucial, and we must have policies that ensure patients safely have access to the medicines they need.”

 

Further Reading:

Bernie to Trump: “Talk is Cheap.” Stand Up to Big Pharma! Support Importing Drugs from Canada!: http://sco.lt/83osEr

Senators Start a New Effort to Allow Importation of Certain Drugs from Canada. Will Trump Play Security Card?: http://sco.lt/644f0D

Pharma Guy's insight:

This is part of Sanders’ campaign to thwart president Trump’s agenda. However, Bernie is up against a much stronger opponent than Trump – the drug industry lobby headed by PhRMA, which is now firmly in Trump’s camp (read, for example, Big Pharma Struggles to Distance Itself from "Price Gouging" Small Pharma: http://bit.ly/2ra4Pd1).

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Bernie Sanders Blasts FDA Commish Nominee Califf on Drug Reimportation

Senator Bernie Sanders laid into FDA Commissioner nominee Robert Califf during yesterday's Senate hearing. Here's a snippet of his comments regarding reimportation of Rx drugs as a means to lower drug prices - an issue of importance to 91% of voters (for more on that, read this).

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