The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) is pleased to see the U.S. government validate the fact that importation from Canada is safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Florida’s State Importation Plan was announced on January 5.
“The recent FDA approval of Florida's request to import pharmaceuticals from Canada confirms what millions of Americans already know and experience: that importation from Canada is a safe, effective way to affordably access daily medications that are outrageously expensive here in the U.S.,” said CPPI Executive Director Jack Pfeiffer.
CPPI 2023 survey data shows that Americans importing prescription drugs save an average of $410 a month ($4,920 a year) on medication from licensed Canadian pharmacies. 57 percent of survey respondents report that they have been importing their 90-day supplies of prescription medications for four or more years.
For nearly two decades the FDA has provided guidance for individuals, citing situations when “it typically does not object to personal imports of drugs that FDA has not approved” — for example, when the drug doesn’t pose an “unreasonable risk” and the supply shipped doesn’t exceed 90 days.
“While CPPI applauds the FDA’s latest endorsement on the safety of medicine from Canada, we reiterate our warnings that wholesale and state importation plans could have the unintended consequence of cutting Americans off from the licensed pharmacies on which they depend. Only personal importation, which avoids the use of pricey middlemen and layers of bureaucracy, can deliver the savings that Americans need, particularly those on fixed incomes,” Pfeiffer cautions.
State wholesale importation plans are laden with extensive requirements that add layers of bureaucracy, which would take years to implement. Moreover, there is extensive opposition to State and tribal wholesale importation programs. Canadian regulatory restrictions, federal approval, and legal challenges remain obstacles for state wholesale importation programs to become operational.
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POLITICO - A Safety Valve
Last year, David Mitchell, president and founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs, was prescribed Eliquis, a blood thinner on CMS’ list of drugs subject to Medicare price negotiations. But his Part D plan wouldn’t cover the drug — or allow Mitchell to pay out-of-pocket for it — because he was required to try rival drug Xarelto first as part of his insurance plan’s step-therapy approach to managing costs.
“Personal importation is like a safety valve,” Mitchell told Prescription Pulse. “My plan wouldn’t give me the best drug for me.”
USA Today - It’s a Step In the Right Direction
Considering that we have the highest drug prices of any developed country, how much difference will this make in bringing down prescription drug prices in the United States to a more reasonable place? The answer is that even if it's just a small step, it's a step in the right direction.” says Dr. Marc Siegel.