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Klobuchar Course Reversal Turns Back on Elderly; Rubio Crosses DeSantis, Trump & Seniors

(Washington, DC) – Legislation introduced this week by Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Marco Rubio (FL) would rob seniors of critical daily medicines. The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI), which represents over 88,000 Americans who import prescription medications shared their concerns regarding the DRUGS Act (short for ‘Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers Act, S.3399).

“The DRUGS Act would rob millions of Americans of their prescription medications from the only place they can afford them – international licensed online pharmacies,” says Jack Pfeiffer, Executive Director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation. “It is shocking that any member of Congress would jeopardize Americans’ access to lifesaving medicines when such an outcome – which is easily avoidable – is a leading cause of rising medical costs and even death.”

The DRUGS Act comes as nearly a third of Americans — triple the share since March— say they’ve skipped medications or medical care in the previous three months due to concerns about the cost. AARP reports that retail prices for some of the most widely used brand name prescription drugs continue to increase twice as much as inflation.

“For Senator Klobuchar, this is a sudden, disappointing, and inexcusable course reversal,” says Pfeiffer. Klobuchar has previously been a long-standing champion of bipartisan bills aimed at ensuring importation of safe affordable drugs from Canada for personal use. Since joining the Senate in 2007 Senator Klobuchar has been at the forefront of allowing Americans to purchase medicines from Canada. Klobuchar co-sponsored the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act and has been the lead author of the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act since 2014.

Marco Rubio’s support of the DRUGS Act is at odds with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to help Floridians access safe and affordable medicines from Canada. “Why Rubio undercuts Governor DeSantis and bipartisan efforts to expand access to safe and affordable medicines is unconscionable, while so many seniors suffer,” says Pfeiffer.

The DRUGS Act purports to admirably address illegal sales of opioids online; however, the bill fails to actually mention opioids, fentanyl, or controlled substances. Instead, the bill targets “non-domestic” pharmacies. Safe, licensed online international pharmacies like those certified by the Canadian Internet Pharmacy Association can point to 100 percent safety records, require valid prescriptions, and do not sell controlled substances, pseudoephedrine, or highly temperature-sensitive products. The DRUGS Act would close licensed international pharmacy websites that millions of Americans rely on to afford their medicine.

Over 4 million Americans are estimated to purchase and import prescription medications from abroad due to drug affordability, and the need is only increasing. The majority of people importing their medications tend to be older Americans, often living on fixed incomes. They rely on online international pharmacies for prescription medications such as Eliquis & Xarelto to treat and prevent blood clots and strokes. The DRUGS Act would cut these Americans off from their medications.

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