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Today, New Mexico Senator Mary Kay Papen, President Pro Tempore Las Cruces and Kathy Kunkel, New Mexico Department of Health, published an op-ed highlighting the potential benefits of drug importation from Canada.

As they write:

Many New Mexico families can’t afford the medication they need and either forgo filling their prescription drugs or end up rationing them to make their prescription last longer. Across the nation, a quarter of all Americans report difficulty paying for their prescription drugs. People are forced with difficult choices like purchasing groceries or life-saving medication.

Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an Action Plan in December to move toward allowing states to develop programs to import safe and affordable medications from Canada.

This week, New Mexico passed a bill – unanimously – to authorize the development of a plan to establish an importation program. Numerous other states – including Vermont, Maine, Colorado and Florida – have passed similar legislation.

As they write:

New Mexicans have an opportunity to benefit from Canada’s lower prescription drug prices. Passage of [this bill] is the first step. We can do something to address the high cost of medications. It’s imperative that we take it. We should do whatever we can to lower the cost of prescription medications for New Mexico families.

We hope other states follow their lead. Americans have a right to safe and affordable medications and importation of medications from Canada is the most straight-forward solution to the problem of skyrocketing drug prices.

The full op-ed can be accessed here.

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