Lawmakers Should Oppose Importation of Price Controls on Prescription Medicine

The U.S. Senate may soon consider allowing the importation of price-controlled prescription medicine through the Canadian socialized medicine system, which are actually made in places like China and India.

Almost every country in the world has excessive price controls that hinder medical innovation and limit access. Foreign prices are often determined by politicians offering voters seemingly “cheap medicines.” But in reality price controls lead to shortages and rationing. Government price setting would do the same in the U.S. whether imposed directly or indirectly through importation.  

America leads the world with more than half of all pharmaceutical and biotech research because we don’t have price controls. Call your Senator at 800-611-1713 and tell them to keep it that way.

The United States is a leader in medical innovation, with more than half of pharmaceutical / biotech research being conducted in this country. Even so, it costs more than $2.6 billion and takes 10- 12 years to develop a drug, conduct clinical trials, and obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for each drug that makes it onto the market. In contrast, almost every country in the world has excessive price controls that hinder medical innovation. In these countries, prices are often determined by politicians offering voters seemingly cheap medicines. In reality, the world rides on U.S. research and taxpayers.

Importation of prescription medicines should not be mischaracterized as an issue of free trade. Free trade means transparent prices with no tariffs, barriers, or price controls. Drug importation is the opposite of free trade.

Importation schemes are also potentially dangerous to consumers. The FDA has stated there is no way to assure the safety, authenticity, or effectiveness of imported drugs, or whether the drugs are from the country the packaging claims it to be. Even attempting to construct such a system would be incredibly costly to taxpayers. In addition to drugs being adulterated, they could be deadly. The FDA has long expressed concern with the importation of medicines for these very reasons.

Importation schemes are NOT the solution to lower prices and will NOT result in a more efficient healthcare system. 

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