This week, a Senate committee moved to advance the nomination of Dr. Stephen Hahn to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr. Hahn is a radiation oncologist and cancer researcher with specializations in treating lung cancer and sarcoma. He currently serves as MD Anderson Cancer Center’s chief medical officer.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked him how he would collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement drug importation from other countries if he is named head of the FDA.
Dr. Hahn acknowledged that Americans have made it clear that high drug prices are an urgent issue that must be addressed and that he intends to make drug prices a top priority if he is confirmed.
Regarding drug importation, he emphasized that he believes the main issue is how to establish a program that would relieve high drug prices ‘without risking patient safety and health or eroding the US pharmaceutical drug supply chain.’ He added that an importation program also must ‘substantially reduce the cost of drugs in the U.S.’
He closed by stating that ‘science, data, and the law will guide all decision-making.’
We agree that importation must ensure safety and significantly lower prices, and we believe that the time for action is now. We will be following this story closely, check back for updates! More information on the Senate hearing can be found here.