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FDA Policy Shift a Positive Step for Prescription Importation

The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation applauds a major Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy advancement for timely American access to safe and affordable medicines. The FDA announced it is working with Chinese drugmaker Qilu Pharmaceutical and Canada-based drugmaker Apotex to import and distribute the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. The FDA told reporters that it is also exploring importing carboplatin, another chemotherapy drug. Under the right conditions, prescription importation can provide safe and affordable access to critical medications for millions of Americans.

“We at CPPI applaud the FDA for taking regulatory steps to make needed drugs available on a timely and affordable basis, and we urge them to continue to advance this cause by expanding regulatory access to all Americans seeking to personally import prescription medications from licensed Canadian pharmacies," says CPPI executive director Jack Pfeiffer.

Millions of Americans are in need of affordable access to critical prescription medicines. High drug prices have caused many Americans to forgo necessary medications or ration their doses, leading to serious health consequences. This is especially true for those who suffer from chronic conditions that require costly medications to manage.

The share of Americans who skipped medical treatment last year because of costs rose substantially to nearly 30%, according to a recent Federal Reserve survey. Kaiser Family Foundation found that three in ten adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost. Further emphasizing the point, more than 70% of U.S. adults feel the health care system is failing to meet their needs in at least one way, according to new data from a Harris Poll.

All the while, prescription drug importation from Canada is safe and affordable. As Senator Durbin stated in a tweet this week, "Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and it's time we take action to reduce that burden."

As reported regularly in CPPI price comparisons and noted in a recent NBC News report, many prescription drugs can be up to 90% cheaper in Canada than in the United States. 

It is also important to note that the majority of prescription medicines that Americans take are imported safely. In fact, according to the FDA, around 80% of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in American drugs are imported from foreign countries. This highlights the need for regulatory access to personal prescription importation as a viable option for Americans seeking affordable medications.

“The need for affordable access to critical prescription medicines is urgent and cannot be ignored. It is imperative that the FDA and other regulatory bodies continue to prioritize policies that promote access to safe and affordable prescription medications for all Americans,” reiterated Pfeiffer.

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