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Congress should take up the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, a bill that would offer immediate drug price relief.

Importing prescription drugs from Canada would help more Americans afford medication they need, a health advocate writes.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi is right in his Sun-Times op-ed, “Congress can do more to reduce prescription drug costs,” which acknowledged that, as he wrote, “The Inflation Reduction Act is a huge step in the right direction.”

However when Rep. Krishnamoorthi suggested additional legislation needed to lower drug prices he neglected to include the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act – a bill on which he was an original sponsor as recently as 2019. Expanded access to personal importation is the only solution that can have immediate, broad and long term savings on prescription drug prices for Americans.

The Inflation Reduction Act is indeed a major step to reign in U.S. drug prices. But for millions of Americans this bill alone won’t result in the savings they need right now to afford their critical daily medications. While Medicare price negotiations are an important future step, lives are currently at stake. One in four Americans report difficulties affording their medications, and this legislation won’t deliver cost savings for years.

Americans need and deserve relief from the dire consequences of high drug prices, and personal prescription importation is an immediate lifeline. The CDC estimates that more than five million Americans already import medications. Americans who import their prescription medications from safe, licensed Canadian pharmacies report saving over $3,700 a year on average. Prices on brand-name prescription medications are 50-90% less expensive from licensed Canadian pharmacies compared to leading U.S. pharmacies.

Prescription importation from Canada has broad bipartisan public support. We urge Congress to take up the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, a bill that would expand American access to personal prescription importation and offer immediate drug price relief.

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