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Reps. Rohrabacher, Ellison Introduce Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act of 2015

Jun 4, 2015
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN,  introduced the Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act of 2015 (H.R. 2623), which gives access to safe, reasonably priced prescription drugs by allowing for the personal importation and re-importation of prescription drugs from countries with safety standards that are at least as strong as those of the United States.

“Lower prices and increased competition go together,” Rep. Rohrabacher said. “That’s an economic fundamental that everybody knows except government bureaucrats. Increased competition also leads to more safety, reliability, and efficacy in the prescriptions our doctors give us. This legislation helps to restore patient confidence by lessening the bureaucrats’ hold on our private lives.”

“The Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act of 2015 allows Americans to spend more time focusing on their well-being and less time worried about if they can afford their prescriptions this month,” Rep. Ellison said.

In 2013, prescription drug spending totaled more than $200 billion, and roughly 19% of those costs were paid out-of-pocket. Due to the high cost of medications, people often have to skip doses of their medications or forgo their prescriptions altogether. For years, people have traveled to other countries--like Canada--to buy their prescription drugs at more reasonable prices. Oftentimes, people have to skip doses of their medications or forgo their prescriptions altogether. For years, people have traveled to other countries, like Canada, to buy their prescription drugs at more reasonable prices.    

The Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act of 2015 allows Americans to buy prescription drugs from countries with a comparable safety standard to the U.S. or better, including Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa, and countries in the European Union.  A purchase must be accompanied by a valid prescription for a supply not exceeding 90 days and must be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. The prescription drug must have the same active ingredients, route of administration, and strength as an FDA-approved prescription drug.

Reps. Jan Schakowsky, (D-IL, and Raúl M. Grijalva, D-AZ, co-sponsored the legislation.  The Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare also support the bill.