Prescription Justice Coalition of Organizations Sends Letter to Congress in Support of Safe Drug Importation

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Millions of Americans already import lower cost medication for personal use because the prices are affordable, despite federal restrictions. A coalition of organizations signed on to a letter to Congress asking them to make it legal for them to do so safely.

Preventing Americans from buying affordable medication is clearly the wrong thing to do, which is why individuals are not prosecuted for small personal use quantity imports.

In a letter to all members of Congress, non-profit organizations representing millions of Americans and their families stated their strong support for the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act of 2017 http://tinyurl.com/ycsx3z9p . This critical legislation would expand access to lower cost medication from Canada and other countries. Spearheaded by Prescription Justice, the letter recognizes that millions of Americans already import medication for personal use and urges Congress to make it lawful for them to do so in accordance with federal regulations and the safest international pharmacy practices.

The letter states: “Preventing Americans from buying affordable medication is clearly the wrong thing to do, which is why individuals are not prosecuted for small personal use quantity imports. By passing this bill, Congress would require the FDA to provide guidance to consumers about finding safe international online pharmacies. This provision would help consumers find the safest options, while going after bad actors who intentionally sell counterfeit and adulterated medications.”

The public health crisis of high drug prices is causing epidemic rates of prescription non-adherence. Approximately 45 million Americans did not fill a prescription in 2016 due to cost http://khn.org/news/trumps-promise-to-rein-in-drug-prices-could-open-dam-to-importation-laws/ , which leads to unnecessary sickness, hospitalizations and death. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 19 million Americans say they have imported medication for personal use due to the high cost of medication domestically https://www.statnews.com/2016/12/20/drug-prices-us-importing/ ; and 72% of Americans would like importation from Canada to be legal http://www.kff.org/health-costs/report/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-september-2016/ . Canadian pharmacies offer discounts of 70% on average compared to local pharmacies on popular brand name drugs, which are available online http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14267010.htm .

Letter in support of prescription drug importation to the U.S. House of Representatives: https://prescriptionjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/drug-importation-support-house-june-2017.pdf.

Letter in support of prescription drug importation to the U.S. Senate: http://prescriptionjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/drug-importation-support-senate-june2017.pdf.

Myths and Facts about importation: http://prescriptionjustice.org/Prescription_Justice_-_Myths_vs_Facts_About_Importation.pdf.

Below is a list of the signatory organizations.

Alliance for Retired Americans
Center for Medicare Advocacy
CREDO
DailyKos
Economic Policy Institute Policy Center
Justice in Aging
National Nurses United
National Organization for Women
Prescription Justice
RxRights
Social Security Works

Prescription Justice http://www.prescriptionjustice.org/ is a non-profit organization that brings together doctors, lawyers, public health advocates, and companies dedicated to helping people afford medication. Prescription Justice advocates for legislative and policy reforms to allow personal prescription importation, permitting Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and ending “pay to delay” activities by pharmaceutical companies that prevent lower cost generics from coming to market.

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Jodi Dart

Gabriel Levitt
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