Senate\’s "quick fix" on prescription drugs will bring a long-term world of pain to patients.
WASHINGTON – Early this morning, the U.S. Senate voted 62-28 on a measure to allow prescription drug "reimportation" from Canadian pharmacies. Proponents of the bill, which is an amendment sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-S.D.) to a larger Medicare overhaul, claim that this will bring the cost of drugs and health care down in the United States.
But the measure, which imports Canadian price-controls into America without importing their tax and regulatory structure, has long-term consequences that will stymie the pharmaceutical industry\’s research and development efforts. Currently, more than 50 percent of new prescription drugs are developed in the United States.
"Importing Canadian drugs without importing their taxes, their regulations, and their absurd health care system creates a massive market distortion," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, D.C. "Next, Sen. Dorgan will want to import drugs from Mexico and Guatemala," he continued.
Most of the world\’s pharmaceutical research is performed in a tech corridor between Philadelphia and New York City. The industry is responsible for a large share of the American economy\’s exports.
But drug therapy, while much cheaper and less invasive than surgery, is increasingly a political target for politicians seeking to bring more of the nation\’s health care system under state control.
"Senator Dorgan and company have decided to import the tyranny of price controls into the American marketplace," continued Norquist. "Distorting a market like this will cause the pharmaceuticals to cut costs – the largest of which is research and development – which in the long run will hurt patients while destroying one of America\’s largest export industries."