President Obama: provide relief now for Americans who can’t afford meds

whitePrice spikes for medications such as Daraprim and the EpiPen have received a lot of media attention lately. But these aren’t isolated incidents. The Wall Street Journal found the majority of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies used price hikes as a tactic to propel profits in 2016.

This profit comes at the expense of patients. Millions of Americans can’t afford their needed medications. In a September 2016 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, more than 1 in 4 people taking medicine said it was unaffordable. Seventy-one percent said they believe Americans should be able to buy prescription drugs from Canada.

On average, prescription drugs cost at least twice as much in the U.S. as they do in Canada. They cost even less in some European countries.

Why should Americans pay so much more? They don’t have to if President Obama implements drug importation rules already a part of U.S. law.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the ability to certify the importation of prescription drugs from other countries.

A petition by RxRights urging the legalization of importation from Canada has 5503 signatures. A recent letter to President Obama from 33 members of Congress states that allowing personal drug importation from other countries with specific qualifications “would pose no risk to public health and safety and could result in a significant reduction in the cost of prescription drugs to American families.”

It’s time to call on President Obama to use his executive power to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: 1) promulgate regulations to permit individuals to import a 90-day supply of medication from Canada, and 2) publicize a list of approved Canadian pharmacies to help ensure consumer safety.

Personal importation is a common sense solution with bipartisan support. Unlike other policy changes to bring down drug prices, it’s an immediate remedy and would offer millions of Americans relief from exorbitant drug prices.

If you agree, please send a message to President Obama today.