CCAGW Urges Senate to Oppose Drug Importation | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Senate to Oppose Drug Importation

Letters to Officials

May 27, 2022

U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supports of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I strongly urge you to vote against any measure that would use drug importation as a mechanism to lower drug prices.  Drug importation will not only fail to lower prices but also compromise the safety and efficacy of the United States healthcare system, including future cures.

The U.S. is the global leader in biopharmaceutical research and development.  The importation of drugs from other countries would also import their socialist healthcare policies.  It would allow foreign drug markets already subsidized by U.S. research and development investments to resell cheaper and unregulated drugs. 

In 2019, Citizens Against Government Waste wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expressing strong opposition to the department’s drug importation proposal, which would have created two pathways to allow for the “safe” importation of drugs from other countries.  If this proposal had been adopted, it would have allowed states, wholesalers, or pharmacists to develop pilot projects to facilitate the importation of certain medications from Canada.  The proposal would also have permitted drug manufacturers to reroute certain versions of drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which were originally sold in foreign markets, back into the U.S. at a lower price.  The letter noted that no FDA commissioner or HHS secretary had ever determined that importing drugs would prevent the flood of dangerous counterfeit drugs that are causing tens of thousands of deaths across the country.  The Canadian government has repeatedly made it clear that the country has no interest in supplying the U.S. with their drugs, citing concerns over shortages. 

Instead of pursuing the ineffective and potentially dangerous importation of drugs, Congress should increase free market incentives and competition in public-sector drug benefit plans, speed up generic drug approvals, modernize clinical trial designs to encourage competition, and write better trade deals to ensure foreign countries pay a fair share of U.S.-funded biopharmaceutical research and development, rather than free-riding on our discoveries.

Imported drugs put patients at risk and threaten future medical innovation.  Again, I strongly urge you to oppose any proposal that would permit drug importation as a vehicle to reduce the cost of medicines.

Sincerely, 
Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW 

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