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Reclaiming Seized Medications

On Thursday, June 10, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations will hold a Subcommittee hearing on the newly published U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) FY 22 Budget Justification, which includes a proposed increase in the tax dollars used to delay and deny patients’ their imported medications.

Arlene Grimes from California, who has been ordering her medications from an online Canadian pharmacy for over five years, was deeply concerned to learn that the FDA is proposing to increase American taxpayer funds used to obstruct American patients’ access to affordable medications.

“I turned to online Canadian pharmacies because Medicare and Social Security weren’t enough to cover the price of the medication that I take for a chronic condition. Given my health conditions, affordable access to my medication from Canadian pharmacies is a lifeline. It is unconscionable that the FDA would detain or delay medications for patients like me who are suffering.”

Prescription drugs cost more in the United States than anywhere else in the world, which has forced millions of American patients to seek affordable medications through international online pharmacies where prices on the same name brand drugs can be 50-90% cheaper.

Despite FDA published guidance and Congress twice passing legislation to support prescription importation, some patients receive distressing notifications from the FDA that their prescription drug order was intercepted (detained or refused) by the FDA or U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. In the 2018 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (PL 115-271) Congress specifically protected imported medicines for personal or household use from restrictions.

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic there continued to be reports of grandparents, veterans, children, and patients all across the country crying foul when their prescription medications were delayed and obstructed. At the same time, authorities were forcing people not to leave their homes and many people who require ongoing medications for chronic conditions were afraid and at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Under the guise of protecting consumers, the FDA now plans to increase their multitiered strategies: (1) international engagement to ensure the safety of the FDA-regulated supply chain; (2) combating cybercrime on the surface net and dark nets; and (3) import operations to detect and seize violative products prior to their entering domestic markets.

“Congress and the Biden Administration should not levy American taxpayer dollars to further restrict American patients’ access to critical life-saving prescription medications,” says Jack Pfeiffer Executive Director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation. “Bad actors can be cracked down on for fraud and dangerous practices without stripping patients of the legitimate prescription drugs they depend upon.”

Patients who believe their medication has been seized by the FDA can use these sample letters prepared by Prescription Justice to respond to the FDA.

Misbranded and/or Unapproved Medications If you received a notice concerning Misbranded and/or Unapproved meds, click here to download a sample response letter.

Reimported Medications If you received a notice concerning Reimported meds, click here to download a sample response letter..

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