McCain and Franken offer amendment to allow importationposted Thu, 26 Apr 2012
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced an amendment to allow prescription drug importation from Canadian online pharmacies on Wednesday during a reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.
Unfortunately, the amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), didn't make it past the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. It was defeated by a 12-9 vote.
Senator Franken called the amendment a common sense provision that would reduce overall healthcare expenses. He spoke on behalf of some of his Minnesota constituents--older adults who have to choose between buying their needed medicines and buying groceries or paying their heating bills. Franken noted that many stop taking medications altogether, which not only jeopardizes their health, but results in expensive hospital stays.
The amendment would have required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publish a list of safe online Canadian pharmacies. Certainly this portion of the amendment was concerning to big pharmaceutical companies.
Too often these days, our elected officials cave to moneyed interests. They somehow overlook the fact that tens of millions of Americans either do not have insurance or lack decent prescription drug benefits. We commend Senators McCain and Franken for standing up on behalf of Americans who are struggling to afford the exorbitant cost of U.S. prescription drugs.
You can watch video of the hearing online (coverage of the amendment begins at 28:40).
News coverage of the hearing.