The thing is, you can. Or, you could, if you were allowed to import safe pharmaceutical drugs from Canada. But you’re not, because the U.S. government bars you from doing so. Why? Mostly because the drug industry lobby — led by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) — opposes this sort of free trade that would lower drug prices (and Pharma’s profits). PhRMA even strong-armed President Obama into opposing reimportation thanks to its support of his health care bill.
Earlier this month, the Congress passed the latest Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bill, which includes tougher enforcement against counterfeit drugs, a change in review fees for generic drug makers, and other policy re-writes.
But what the FDA bill didn’t include was allowing Americans to import cheaper Canadian drugs. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) worked to try to pass a provision that would’ve allowed that, but his effort was defeated as his amendment was prevented from consideration.
“During Senate consideration of this bill, I offered an amendment to allow safe drug importation from legitimate Canadian pharmacies,” thundered McCain during a Senate speech on Monday. “There is no greater example of the influence of special interests on this body than the failure to enact an amendment that would’ve allowed from Canadian pharmacies, legitimate pharmacies that people could purchase their much needed medication at sometimes half the cost of what it is in the United States of American. And I’m embarrassed to this day that nine of my Republican colleagues also voted against [my amendment].”
Watch McCain’s speech above and remember that Big Money is a big part of the reason your pharmaceutical drugs are so expensive.
Filed under: Plutocrats