A few weeks ago, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced S. 771, the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act. So far, 15 Senators (including Sen. Amy Klobuchar) have signed on as co-sponsors. While we applaud the intent of the bill and agree that many life-saving prescriptions are priced beyond the reach of average consumers, MPhA and national pharmacy associations such as the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) encourage our Senators to find alternatives to importation. We encourage you to join the letter-writing campaign by filling out a quick online form or by contacting Senators Franken and Klobuchar by phone or email.
APhA sent a letter to Members of Congress, saying in part, “APhA appreciates ongoing congressional efforts to gather input from stakeholders on issues related to drug importation for incorporation into existing or future legislation. Although APhA supports efforts to increase patients’ access to appropriate, safe, effective, and affordable prescription medications, we believe proposals to legalize importation of non-FDA approved drugs is in direct conflict with recent efforts by Congress and federal agencies to increase the integrity and security of the U.S. drug supply. Moreover, obtaining safe and effective medications is only one part of appropriate medication use. It also requires a health practitioner’s knowledge of the patient’s complete medication profile and an understanding by the patient of how to take the medications, side effects and/or potential interactions — all of which could be negatively affected by importation proposals.”