Senate withdraws foreign drug import law

The U.S. Senate officially withdrew an amendment calling for personal importation of prescription drugs from Canada during a budget reconciliation legislation meeting Thursday.

This recent extraction will continue to uphold current regulations that prevent American consumers from purchasing prescription drugs from countries with more lenient pharmaceutical laws. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has been a front runner in the amendment’s withdrawal process, advocating that consumer safety cannot be guaranteed with prescriptions from a foreign supplier.

“Given that patient safety cannot be ensured under a personal prescription drug importation system and that such a system would reduce patients’ access to professional services of their local licensed pharmacists, the Senate made the right decision today,” NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, said.

As noted in a letter NACDS sent to U.S. senators last week, pharmaceuticals from other countries often contain different active ingredients, shapes and colors. These differences -- along with the lack of information coming from a trained pharmacist -- can confuse patients and thereby cause unintended health consequences.

The amendment was originally filed by U.S. Sen. John McCain during a debate on H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.

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