Call for immediate action to remedy problem of unaffordable medicine

A recent AARP survey found that 81% of Americans ages 50 and up think prescription drug prices are too high; nearly 9 in 10 believe our leaders need to take action to address the problem.

The two presumptive presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties have voiced their support for the personal importation of prescription drugs from other countries as a method for addressing this issue and controlling health care costs (scroll down to see more about their stances below). Importation is a common sense solution, which could provide immediate relief to the millions of Americans struggling to afford their needed medications.

Four million people each year import their prescription drugs despite the fact that it’s technically illegal. The FDA has typically looked the other way on this issue, allowing the importation of 90-day supplies of medication for personal use. But last fall, the government gained the authority to confiscate and destroy personally imported medication.

The fact that the government now has this power has us concerned. At any point, large-scale seizures of personally imported prescription drugs could take place. That’s why we need to call on our legislators to make importation explicitly legal.

We recently sent a letter to the offices of 43 legislators who expressed their support for personal importation at some point in the past. In the letter, we thanked them and we called upon them to renew their support for this virtual lifeline to medicine.

Americans can’t continue to wait for a solution to the messy drug pricing problem; they need action now.

——————

Presidential Candidates believe importation is good policy

From Hillary Clinton’s plan for lowering prescription drug costs: “Allow Americans to import drugs from abroad – with careful protections for safety and quality. Hillary Clinton believes that it’s unfair that drug companies charge far lower prices abroad for the same treatment, while imposing higher prices on Americans. Countries in Europe often pay half of what Americans pay for the same drugs. Clinton would allow Americans to safely and securely import drugs for personal use from foreign nations whose safety standards are a strong as those in the United States. The FDA and other regulatory agencies would set careful standards for re-importation to ensure safety and quality for Americans.”

Point #7 of Trump’s plan for health care reform: “Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.”