Updated: Nov 7
March 4, 2021
The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation cheers the U.S. Senators and Representatives who introduced and co-sponsored the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2021, which would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, creating savings for consumers and bringing greater competition into the pharmaceutical market.
“All Americans deserve access to affordable prescription drugs, and there is no need to make them wait when the same medications are available at 50-90% savings from safe Canadian pharmacies. These Congressional leaders are championing a bill that will give people the access they need to life-saving medications,” said CPPI Executive Director Jack Pfeiffer. “Personal prescription importation allows millions of Americans to access their medications and recoup all the savings, a benefit not available by restrictive wholesale importation.”
In the Senate, this bipartisan legislation (S.259) was introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). It is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
“Addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs has continued to be one of my top priorities. Safe and affordable prescription drugs have been for sale just across the border, but legally out of reach for American families. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will empower Americans to have more choices at the pharmacy,” Grassley said. “This is one critical piece of the puzzle of improving access to affordable medications. I’ll also continue to fight against high prescription drug prices through increased competition and expanded access to more affordable generics.”
“Prescription drugs are unaffordable for far too many Americans,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation would allow for the safe importation of less expensive drugs from Canada, which would in turn increase competition and bring down drug costs in the United States. The fact that Americans pay more than people in other countries for the exact same medications is just wrong. I will continue working to ensure Americans have more options when picking their medications, which will ultimately save consumers money.”
Companion House legislation (H.R.832) was introduced by Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.). Upon the previous, 2019 introduction of this legislation, Rep. Pingree and Beutler had the following to say:
“I’ve heard from so many individuals and families who don’t know what to do about shocking increases in their medication costs—whether it’s the prescription they need to manage their high cholesterol or asthma, or the EpiPen that could save their life during an allergic reaction,” Congresswoman Pingree said. “Just across the border in Canada, most medications are available at a fraction of the cost, because their government negotiates on price. Right now, we are denying our citizens access to those safe, lower price alternatives just to keep pharmaceutical companies happy. This bill would put an end to that and offer some much-needed relief to consumers.”
“The high cost of prescription drugs is leading some folks in Southwest Washington and across the country to skip doses, cut pills in half, or forego filling prescription drugs altogether. That’s alarming, and Congress needs to work on solutions to ease the financial burden of expensive drugs to make sure that residents aren’t forced to take these kinds of actions,” Representative Herrera Beutler said. “Today, I’m proud to join with Congresswoman Pingree in introducing bipartisan legislation to allow the safe, responsible importation of certain prescription drugs from our neighbor to the north. If a person can save hundreds or thousands of dollars and get identical prescriptions from licensed Canadian pharmacies, Congress should move forward with a solution allow that to happen.”