Opinion

An Immediate Solution to Access Safe and Affordable Prescription Drugs

The outrageously high cost of prescription medications is an ongoing, serious health crisis for millions of Americans who are desperate for relief and want the government to act.

Lawmakers struggle to address this growing problem, facing intense resistance from pharmaceutical companies in an already crowded environment of legislative priorities. Each day, we witness shifting priorities based on the latest headlines. Indeed, we are living in challenging times and there are many issues that require urgent attention from lawmakers.

Yet, the reality that many Americans face each day is non-negotiable and cannot be paused as they struggle to pay for their medications.

Importation from Canada is the simplest, most immediate solution to provide Americans with reasonable access to safe, affordable prescription medications.

Here is the irony – millions of Americans get their daily personal prescription medications from Canada while policy wonks endlessly debate any and all proposals that even have a shred of merit, delaying action even further.

These consumers know that they can get the same medications that they need at significantly reduced prices. In many cases, they have no other reasonable choice for accessing their prescription drugs. The consequences for not getting their medications can be life-threatening and debilitating. Yet, there are still endless debates on whether or not personal prescription importation could be a viable option in the future.

Not only are licensed Canadian pharmacies a viable option for accessing prescription medications in the future, but they are also a proven safe solution today.

While counterfeit medications sold through rogue websites are a serious safety concern, allowing personal prescription importation from licensed and legitimate online pharmacies in Canada would enable the FDA to have increased oversight and inhibit the proliferation of these illegitimate sites.

Several proposals could provide relief to the ever-increasing high price of pharmaceuticals, but they are long-term solutions that do not provide even a glimmer of immediate hope to people who face tough personal or family health decisions each day.

The rising costs of prescription medications have forced many Americans to skip doses, split pills, or forgo medications completely. This is an unacceptable choice resulting in serious health consequences for patients and leading to increased costs for the healthcare system and taxpayers.

Congress can provide relief today by allowing importation of personal-use medications from credentialed, verified Canadian pharmacies.

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced time-and-again for more than a decade to address this issue with a common-sense approach.

With the help of tens of thousands of supporters, we are working to ensure our elected officials understand the impact of high drug prices on consumers across the U.S. and act to provide reasonable access to safe, affordable prescriptions from Canada.

 

Tracy Cooley is executive director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation.

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