Senators stand up for affordable medicine

We’ve been rallying our base of supporters in the last months to make some noise to help counter the FDA’s proposed rule to allow for the seizure and destruction of personally imported medicine. Thank you for to those who have taken action! You have sent letters to newspapers, senators, and other government officials—and your efforts are paying off!

In particular, a few legislators have taken note. In our last email, we mentioned that Senator Vitter (R-LA) has offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill to de-fund the FDA’s regulation. He also wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg regarding the proposed rule and issued a press statement on the issue, here’s an excerpt:

“The FDA is proposing a completely arbitrary seizure and destruction of reimported prescription drugs,” Vitter said. “This FDA rule has likely been influenced by Big Pharma, who have long opposed my efforts to provide much cheaper options for prescription drugs. Millions of low-income Americans have been forced to stop filling prescriptions due to high costs, but safely buying prescription drugs from approved vendors brings them some necessary relief.”

Senators Chuck Grassley, Dean Heller and Angus King Jr. also signed on to Sen. Vitter’s letter to Commissioner Hamburg.

In a slightly different but related vein, Senators Klobuchar and McCain are sponsoring S. 2549, the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2014, legislation to require the Secretary of Health & Human Services to create rules to allow drug importation from Canada. The Secretary would be tasked with creating a list of approved Canadian pharmacies that would be available to consumers via the FDA website. More about this bill.

In a news release from Sen. Klobuchar’s office, she says: “This bipartisan bill would make a commonsense fix and allow individuals to import safe, low-cost prescription drugs from Canada, injecting new competition into the U.S. pharmaceutical market and bringing down costs for families.”

With the election cycle approaching we’ll be calling on you to help garner support for these efforts. We’ll need help:

  1. Educating both incumbents and their challengers on the fact that millions of Americans safely utilize drug importation .
  2. Finding out whether the candidates will support the efforts of Senators Vitter, Klobuchar, and McCain.

We hope we can count on your assistance moving forward!

18 Comments On “Senators stand up for affordable medicine”

  1. Thanks for the kind words Bob. And big thanks for taking action on your own to thank these senators!

  2. Thanks for sharing Inez. That is maddening. We’d like to hear more about the seizure. Would you be willing to send us a message with more details? Email is: advocate at rxrights.org

  3. Great to hear it, thanks!

  4. Yes, something is definitely wrong with this picture. Have you shared your story on our testimonials page? http://www.rxrights.org/testimonials/ We’d encourage you to do so!

  5. Glad to hear it, thanks!

  6. Very true Linda! Asthma meds are incredibly expensive. And the doughnut hole will continue to get smaller over the years but won’t close entirely. Access to safe, affordable imported medicine is crucial for millions.

  7. Thanks Frank. Please keep us posted on the news story, we might like to post it on our website/social media!

  8. Thanks for sharing Barbara. It is shameful that you should have to ration your food to afford your medicine! But it’s a very compelling story. Might you consider sharing your story on our testimonials page? http://www.rxrights.org/testimonials/

  9. God bless this organization for protecting the rights and health of the American people who are having difficulty paying for medications to preserve their quality of life.

  10. Thanks Barb. I save $100s on prescriptions and think about Generic equivalents available from them that aren’t available in the U.S.A. The Canada Pharmacy I deal with has an 800 phone number and know about generics available.

  11. Just got done with the ABC News local TV interview, They said it went well, it should get aired in about 3 weeks. Went over the savings from using NorthWestPharmacy over my health plan and dealing with local pharmacies, co-pays and deductibles. I gave the reporter Christine Tressel your website info and she might be contacting you.

  12. Barbara, have you check with the Combivent manufacturer to see if they have a patient assistance program that you may be eligible for? Check out this page: http://www.rxassist.org/search/prog-details?program_Id=14&Drug_Id=84

  13. Melphalan (alkeran), a cancer drug, bought at US pharmacies costs more than $10 per pill. From Canada, the costs is less than $3 per pill. Medications should be priced fairly for everyone, everywhere!

  14. Thank you Patti, we’re trying!

  15. I take budesonide for my colitis. Here in the US my prescription is over $15/pill, and I have to take 3 pills per day. I’ve been buying my prescription out of Canada and it is produced in India. My cost now is 72 cents per pill. That’s $2.26 per day versus over $15 per day. I couldn’t afford my medication if it weren’t for this option.

  16. I have asthma and I could never afford my advair inhalers if I bought them in the US. Thank God for making it possible to get my inhalers at an affordable price from the Canadians. Please don’t let the evil, greedy men who run these big pharmacys shut that door so they can rob us. I thought this was supposed to be the LAND OF THE FREE not the land of the robbed. Kathy Montgomery

  17. Thank you all for your comments! A reminder, we are compiling stories from Americans who struggle to afford the high price of U.S. medicine on our website. Please visit the link and tell us your story! http://www.rxrights.org/testimonials/

  18. Pingback: RxRights year in review 2014 | RxRights

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