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Rubio Proposes to Deny Seniors Access to Affordable Medicines

Updated: May 22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) has hand-delivered a letter to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, opposing the newly re-introduced DRUGS Act. Senator Marco Rubio quietly re-introduced the Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers Act (DRUGS Act) [S. 4108], a bill that would prevent Americans from accessing safe and affordable daily prescription medicines from licensed Canadian pharmacies.

“Floridians and Americans are already struggling with rising inflationary costs in all aspects of life. The DRUGS Act would deny seniors on fixed incomes access to the only affordable route to their daily medications. The DRUGS Act puts lives in jeopardy,” says CPPI Executive Director Jack Pfeiffer. “We hope Senator Marco Rubio, listens to the Floridians and Americans and withdraws the DRUGS Act.” 

Statements from CPPI members:

Jerry Phillips from Holiday, Florida is a volunteer for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. He helps seniors with their Medicare questions and issues. Phillips says, “The single biggest problem that these seniors face is the cost of new, highly advertised and promoted drugs. I personally use a Canadian pharmacy to get one of my medications, saving me $800 per year. Without this option, I could not afford it. The DRUGS Act would rob Americans like me of one of the only avenues for safe and affordable prescription medications - licensed international pharmacies.” 

Dr. Linda Christmann of Bradenton, Florida says “For the past several years, my husband and I have benefited from purchasing drugs through one or both of two Canadian pharmacies. Last year we saved over $1900 by doing so. I have had no concerns about my safety in buying my drugs this way. Please keep this pathway open for us all.”

Emma Soffer of Naples, Florida says, “I have a heart condition & take many medications which run me over $400 per month. I cannot afford these medications so to survive I must be allowed to get my medications from Canada. As long as USA suppliers continue to charge such outrageous amounts for the drugs that Americans need to survive people like me have no alternative but to purchase the needed medications online from Canada. Please oppose the DRUGS ACT.” 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately four million Americans import their medications due to high costs. More than 6,800 Floridians are members of the 125,000+ member non-profit Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation actively advocating for access to affordable life-saving medicines. Recent surveys reveal that more than one-third of Americans do not fill their prescriptions due to cost. Meanwhile, Americans who import their medications report saving an average of $4,920 a year.  

Current law allows personal importation of prescription drugs on a case-by-case basis, and directs the FDA to exercise discretion in permitting personal importation of drugs when the product is “clearly for personal use, and does not appear to present an unreasonable risk to the user.” Safe licensed pharmacies, like those recommended by CPPI, ship products to Americans through the postal service and help Florida residents, mostly seniors, obtain affordable medications for their chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Price comparisons demonstrate that identical medications from Canada cost up to 90 percent less than the price charged in the United States, with the top 60 drugs sold in America costing nearly four times as much as Canada. Unless one lives in a northern border state, the most convenient way to access safe and affordable medicines from licensed Canadian pharmacies is through the Internet. The DRUGS Act would deny Americans access to these safe pharmacy websites.

"Senator Rubio’s office hasn't issued a press release about this re-introduction of the DRUGS Act, possibly because even he realizes the potential harm it will cause to Americans. It is hard to understand Rubio’s DRUGS Act as anything but an attempt to prevent Americans from accessing safe and affordable medicines from Canada,” says Pfeiffer. 


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