Hard Pill To Swallow: Senate Rejects Imported Drugs genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Six Degrees of Speculation

Hard To Swallow

On Monday, the U.S. pharmaceutical lobby demonstrated the influence it wields on Capital Hill. The Senate voted to oppose the importing of cheaper drugs from other countries, a move that clearly signals that party affiliation and public opinion can often take a back seat to political pandering. The following are excerpts from the full article.

On a 49-40 vote, the Senate required the administration to certify the safety and effectiveness of imported drugs before they can be imported, a requirement that officials have said they cannot meet.

"Well, once again the big drug companies have proved that they are the most powerful and best financed lobby in Washington," said Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.

The vote neutralized a second amendment, later passed on a voice vote, that would legalize the importation of prescription drugs manufactured in Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan and New Zealand.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but the Food and Drug Administration is currently monitoring and approving the production of HIV drugs in India and other countries for use in third world countries desperately in need of the medications. Should we conclude that those drugs are not safe because the government contends it isn't capable of verifying the safety of drugs that would be imported for U.S. consumption? If so, why did the U.S. commit to fifteen billion dollars over five years to fund programs to address the AIDS pandemic? Are these HIV drugs safe enough for others but not Americans?

Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, said the requirement for a safety certification was essential to protect the public.

"Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, secretaries of Health and Human Services have declined to certify that foreign drugs — like those allowed under the Dorgan Foreign Drug Act — are safe for American consumers. They realized, as I do, that close enough isn't good enough," Enzi said.

Advocates of drug importation have argued for years that an existing ban is more a protection for the drug industry than a safety issue.

Overseas, drugs can cost two-thirds less than they do in the United States, where prices for brand-name drugs are among the highest in the world. In many industrialized countries, prices are lower because they are either controlled or partially controlled by government regulation.

The pharmaceutical industry vehemently opposes allowing drug imports, arguing that they could leave the nation vulnerable to dangerous counterfeits.

The reality is that drug companies routinely seek to lessen the requirements needed to obtain FDA approval of new drugs. Those same drug companies would have the American public believe that they need to be more fearful of foreign drugs when those foreign drugs threaten their strangle hold on the American consumer. Further, one could document a long history of drug companies hiding dangerous side effects and contraindications in order to gain approvals and increased revenues...yet we should now believe they are honest and conscientious brokers for the safety of our citizenry?

Let me be clear...I am a strong supporter of medical research and I applaud the efforts of the many scientists that bring us new drugs and new treatments. Unfortunately, they are working for giant commercial entities that are prone to push for profit over propriety...regardless of the all too evident hypocrisy. It’s shameless for pharmaceutical companies and our elected officials to ask those in need to swallow such an unsatisfactory and disingenuous pill.

Image courtesy of Worth1000

Daniel DiRito | May 8, 2007 | 2:21 PM
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Comments

1 On April 10, 2014 at 11:02 PM, achat Rocaltrol en ligne wrote —

For those who have had a current medical evaluation,
a web based drugstore commonly does not require that you
access another professional medical exam prior to filling your prescription.
Other distance education pharmacy schools include:. Moreover,
these pharmacies offer two types of advantages to buyers.

2 On April 10, 2014 at 11:02 PM, achat Rocaltrol en ligne wrote —

For those who have had a current medical evaluation,
a web based drugstore commonly does not require that you
access another professional medical exam prior to filling your prescription.
Other distance education pharmacy schools include:. Moreover,
these pharmacies offer two types of advantages to buyers.

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