PoliticalNews.me - Mar 03,2017 - Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act Introduced to Help Lower Skyrocketing Cost of Medicine
WASHINGTON, – Sens. Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced legislation Tuesday to lower the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs by allowing Americans to import safe, low-cost medicine from Canada. Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced a companion bill in the House.
Both measures would authorize the secretary of Health and Human Services in two years to allow importation from other advanced countries.
In Canada and other major countries, the same medications, manufactured by the same companies, in the same factories are available for a fraction of the price compared to the United States. In 2014, Americans spent $1,112 per person on prescription drugs while Canadians spent $772 and Danes spent $325.
While five major drug manufacturers made more than $50 billion in profits in 2015, nearly 1 in 3 Americans could not afford the medicine they were prescribed at some point in their lives.
“This is common-sense legislation that will allow middle class families and seniors access to safe, affordable prescription drugs through importation,” Casey said. “No family should lack access to prescription drugs simply because of the cost; this legislation will increase competition and help more patients access life-saving drugs.”
“I am very proud to join with Sens. Booker and Casey and Reps. Cummings and Doggett and many, many others in the Senate and the House to introduce this critical legislation to lower the outrageous cost of prescription drugs,” Sanders said. “I say to President Trump: Talk is cheap. If you really have the guts to take on the pharmaceutical industry, tell your Republican friends in the House and the Senate to pass this legislation. Do it tonight in your address to Congress. Or admit to the American people that you were lying to them during the campaign.”
“After he was elected, President Trump said he would bring down drug prices. He also warned that the pharmaceutical industry is ‘getting away with murder,’ and he was absolutely right,” Cummings said. “So, if the President really means what he says, he will support our efforts, and he will encourage his Republican colleagues to do the same.”
Booker said, “Life-saving medications will only save lives if people can afford them. Our common-sense legislation is a step forward, allowing for the importation of prescription drugs under a set of strong and effective standards necessary to ensure consumer safety. Since my days as Newark's mayor, I’ve been working to find ways to help more people afford prescription drugs, and this bill will do just that.”
“Prescription price gouging threatens both the health and financial security of too many Americans – overpricing is not limited to one pharmaceutical manufacturer, one CEO, or one class of drugs,” Doggett said. It extends throughout an industry that regularly demands all that a sick or dying patient will pay to recover or just to survive a little longer. From EpiPens to insulin, from cancer to hepatitis C, families and taxpayers bear