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Kaiser Health News recently reported that the final version of the opioid bill Congress released earlier this week would grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded power to control drug imports, but includes a provision to protect people who purchase their personal prescriptions from other countries.

The article states that advocates for safe and affordable importation view it ‘as a significant step in recognizing the legitimacy of importing medication from places where it is less expensive.’

The piece goes on to point out two important realities of the healthcare system:

  • Millions of Americans every year seek prescriptions from overseas and Canada. Many millions more don’t take or thin out their prescribed medications, often because of costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 8 percent of Americans do not take their medication as prescribed, and more than 15 percent seek cheaper alternatives from their doctor.

  • The consequences of non-adherence are on a par with the opioid crisis. The failure of people to take medication properly kills about 125,000 every year and costs the health care system between $100 billion and $289 billion, according to studies.

The full article can be accessed here.

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