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Drug Importation

Editor’s note: If allowing interstate competition among health plans is a good idea, wouldn’t international drug price competition be a good idea? What’s the debate really all about? $$$

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Drug Import Issue Slows Senate Health Care Debate

The Senate was slogging through a debate Wednesday on a bipartisan effort to amend its health care bill to allow imports of prescription drugs from other countries, where they are often sold for far less than in the United States.

The amendment offered by Byron L. Dorgan , D-N.D., and backed by John McCain , R-Ariz., would allow prescription drugs to enter the country for registered importers and individuals for personal use.

Dorgan has introduced his legislation several times before, and each time it has been blocked. The pharmaceutical industry strongly opposes easing the path for drug imports, saying it would result in increased numbers of counterfeit drugs. Dorgan says registration requirements and more facility inspections included in his amendment would improve drug safety.

While many Democratic senators support importing drugs, Dorgan’s amendment would effectively scrap an informal agreement the White House made with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), the brand-name drugmaker trade group. The agreement limited cuts in drug spending in the bill to ensure support from PhRMA, which has run an advertising campaign to support completion of the bill.

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=cqmidday-000003262887

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December 9, 2009 - Posted by | drugs, Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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