WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 55-45 Thursday to scrap an appropriations bill amendment that would have allowed personal importation of prescription drugs.
The amendment had been proposed for the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The Senate's vote drew applause from an organization representing retail pharmacy chains.
"Given that consumer safety cannot be ensured under a prescription drug reimportation system and that such a system would reduce patients' access to professional services of their local, licensed pharmacists, the Senate made the right decision today," National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said. "NACDS appreciates the genuine interest in reducing healthcare expenses that is a motivating factor behind this amendment, and NACDS remains committed to working with all branches and all levels of government, as well as private payers, to improve patient health and reduce costs."
Along with the NACDS, many health experts fear that allowing patients to purchase and import drugs from abroad would open the country's drug supply to counterfeit drugs and fraud.