PoliticalNews.me - Jul 16,2012 - Vitter: White House, PhRMA Made Deals to Kill Prescription Drug Reimportation
Recently released emails show White House promising to kill reimportation in exchange for PhRMA support of Obamacare in 2009
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator David Vitter spoke on the Senate floor criticizing the recently discovered deal the White House made with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to kill any prescription drug reimportation legislation. Vitter’s remarks come in response to emails recently released that reveal communication between the White House and the pharmaceutical industry during the 2009 healthcare debate. The White House ultimately agreed to block proposals that would allow importation of cheaper prescription drugs from abroad at the request of PhRMA. PhRMA is the lobbying arm of the big pharmaceutical industry and of has long viewed reimportation of cheaper drugs as a threat.
“These emails are proof that there was clearly a deal between the White House and big PhRMA to kill reimportation,” Vitter said. “Reimportation would allow Americans, especially our seniors, to get cheaper prescription drugs, but President Obama agreed to block it just to gain PhRMA’s financial support for Obamacare. This is an outrage and exactly the type of backroom deal-making that gave us this disastrous healthcare law. Worse, then-Sen. Obama co-sponsored a reimportation bill in 2006 and voted for my legislation in 2007 and 2008.”
Click here to watch a video of Vitter’s floor statement.
Vitter, who has been the leader in the Senate for reimportation, successfully helped pass bipartisan legislation in 2007 that made it easier for Americans to bring legal prescription drugs into the United States. Then in 2008, Vitter secured a vote demanding the need for comprehensive reimportation legislation. In 2009, Vitter secured provisions in the Senate to an appropriations bill allowing U.S. citizens to import FDA-approved drugs at a lower cost from Canada. In October 2011, Vitter introduced legislation, almost identical to the 2009 amendment that previously passed the Senate, and 14 Democrats switched their votes from their position before the Obamacare debate.
Emails reveal Obama adminstration deal on drug reimportation
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Newly released emails from the 2009-2010 health-care debate reveal how the White House won pharmaceutical industry support by agreeing to help scuttle proposals to expand reimportation of less expensive foreign drugs.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who has pushed for reimportation since first winning election to the Senate in 2004, said he isn't surprised.
The emails, released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, show the great lengths the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America went to kill drug reimportation as a potential hit on drug industry profits.
"The bottom line is there was clearly a deal between the White House and PhRMA and first and biggest was a demand to kill reimportation for good," Vitter said Tuesday.
During the health-care debate, PhRMA was headed by former Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-Chackbay, who was the lead industry negotiator with the White House over health reform.