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Biden's State of the Union Highlights Savings from Prescription Importation

During the 2024 State of the Union address, President Biden took time to highlight the drastic difference between U.S. prescription drug prices and prices in Canada and other countries. Millions of Americans already depend on personal prescription importation for affordable access to critical daily medications; but for millions of Americans who can't afford their prescriptions, there is hope says the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation.

"Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anywhere in the world. It’s wrong, and I’m ending it," said Biden in his State of the Union address, before further stating: “Any of you want to get in Air Force One with me and fly to Toronto, Berlin, Moscow — I mean, excuse me. Well, even Moscow, probably. And bring your prescription with you, and I promise you, I’ll get it for you for 40 percent the cost you’re paying now. Same company, same drug, same place.”

President Biden, former President Trump, bipartisan Members of Congress, as well as a nearly 80 percent of the American public all agree that prescription importation from Canada should expand to ensure access to affordable drugs. 

The problem is that big pharmaceutical manufacturers are already mounting ferocious legal battles against the Inflation Reduction Act and drug price negotiations. Biden’s new proposal is likely to see even more pushback. Drug price negotiations and substantive prescription cost savings for the majority of Americans could be years away. 

“Personal prescription importation is the only immediate solution for Americans to access lower drug prices,” says Jack Pfeiffer Executive Director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation. “The time is now for the House and Senate to advance the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act and the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.”

In the 117 Session of Congress, Senators Amy Klobuchar [D-MN] and Chuck Grassley [R-IA] and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree [D-ME] introduced and led the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act; co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin [D-WI], Susan Collins [R-ME], Sherrod Brown [D-OH] Margaret Wood Hassan [D-NH], Angus King [I-ME], Patrick Leahy [D-VT], Jeff Merkley [D-OR], Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH], Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI], Ron Wyden [D-OR], and Gary Peters [D-MI] as well as Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler [R-WA-3].

Likewise, in the previous session of Congress, Senator Bernie Sanders [D-VT] and former Representative Peter Welch [D-VT] introduced and led the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act; co-sponsored by Senators Cory Booker [D-NJ], Bob Casey [D-PA], Tammy Baldwin [D-WI], Richard Blumenthal [D-CT], Sherrod Brown [D-OH], Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY], Martin Heinrich [D-NM], Angus King [I-ME], Amy Klobuchar [D-MN], Patrick Leahy [D-VT] Joe Manchin [D-WV], Jeff Merkley [D-OR], Alex Padilla [D-CA], Jack Reed [D-RI], Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH], Tina Smith [D-MN], Debbie Stabenow, [D-MI], Chris Van Hollen [D-MD], Elizabeth Warren [D-MA], Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI], Ron Wyden [D-OR], and Representatives Cori Bush [D-MO-1], Lloyd Doggett [D-TX-35], Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC-At Large], Mark Pocan [D-WI-2], Ro Khanna [D-CA-17], Joe Neguse [D-CO-2], Ilhan Omar [D-MN-5], Janice Schakowsky [D-IL-9], Earl Blumenauer [D-OR-3], John Garamendi [D-CA-3], Chellie Pingree [D-ME-1], Jamie Raskin[D-MD-8], Raul Grijalva [D-AZ-3], Frank Mrvan[D-IN-1], Mondaire Jones [D-NY-17], Steve Cohen[D-TN-9].

“It is time for leaders to step up and deliver lower drug prices now,” reiterated Pfeiffer.


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