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CPPI Endorses Freshly Introduced “Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act”

Rep. Schakowsky Introduces Bill to Ensure Millions of Americans Have Access to Affordable, Critical Daily Medications

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) released a statement endorsing the “Affordable and Safe Prescription Drugs Act of 2024 (H.R. 8848),” introduced by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s (IL-09).  

“Millions of Americans depend on personal prescription importation for access to critical daily medications. Affordable access to prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies is an issue of life or death for millions of Americans.  Expanding access to imported medicines through the ‘Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act’ will save lives, as more than one hundred thousand CPPI Members can attest,” says Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) executive director, Jack Pfeiffer. “CPPI thanks Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky for her long-standing efforts to bring affordable medicines to all Americans. This key legislation to allow for imported medicines represents a major step toward that goal.”

CPPI Member Testimonials:

“I have been a licensed physician in Illinois for 35 years. I have had many patients who were unable to afford their prescription medication either because they were uninsured or because their insurance carrier decided to stop coverage of a medication that was beneficial to them. Having the option to purchase their prescribed medication from Canada was a lifesaver for them. I, myself, have resorted to purchasing a medication for the treatment of asthma that my insurance carrier would not approve. I'm thankful that I was able to find an affordable price from a reputable Canadian pharmacy so that it was feasible to continue my medication.” - CPPI Member, Dr. Dawna Gutzmann, Skokie, IL

“I have severe asthma. I took Advair for a long time with good relief until my insurance stopped covering it. My doctor was unable to get a prior authorization approved. The other medications did not work as well for me. Advair is $399 a month for me without insurance coverage. My doctor wrote a prescription and I am able to get Advair from Canada for $50 for a month. It works as well as the American Advair, in fact, it looks just like it. I get it from a reputable Pharmacy with a prescription from my doctor. I think it's important for me to continue to be able to breathe.” - CPPI Member, Raun Gallegos, Skokie, IL

“I am over 70 and living alone on Social Security of $2,500 a month. My medication, when ordering in Chicago, would cost me $1,000 or more a month for only one of my medications, and that is with insurance! This medication is keeping me alive! Prescription importation from Canada is the only way I can afford to purchase the medication.” - CPPI Member, Ann Hain, Chicago, IL

For over a decade, the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act has been championed by Senator Bernie Sanders. The American public has long supported prescription importation from Canada as a solution to high drug costs in the U.S. 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation polling found 78% of the public favors allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs imported from licensed Canadian pharmacies. This proposal has broad support across party lines – 75% of Democrats, 82% of Independents, and 75% of Republicans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately five million Americans import their medications due to high costs. 

Current law allows personal importation of prescription drugs on a case-by-case basis, and directs the FDA to exercise discretion in permitting personal importation of drugs when the product is “clearly for personal use, and does not appear to present an unreasonable risk to the user.” Safe licensed pharmacies, like those recommended by CPPI, ship products to Americans through the postal service and help patients, mostly seniors, obtain affordable medications for their chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Price comparisons demonstrate that identical medications from Canada cost up to 90 percent less than the price charged in the United States, with the top 60 drugs sold in America costing nearly four times as much as Canada. Recent surveys reveal that more than one-third of Americans do not fill their prescriptions due to cost. Meanwhile, Americans who import their medications report saving an average of $4,920 a year. 

“It’s time now for Congress and the Administration to deliver immediate relief to American patients and advance personal prescription importation,” says CPPI Executive Director Jack Pfeiffer.  

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