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Public Statements

Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

PRESCRIPTION DRUG AND MEDICARE IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2003

Mr. PRYOR. I thank the Chair.

Mr. President, the United States may be the only country in the world that does not protect its population from price gouging when it comes to prescription drugs. Last week, the Senate took a very important step in eliminating that by adopting the Dorgan-Cochran amendment by a vote of 62 to 28 to allow the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada.

This amendment gives that amendment teeth. It gives HHS 2 years to act, and if they do not act within 2 years, then it becomes illegal for prescription drug companies to sell their products in the United States for more than they sell them in Canada.

Some people call this price control. I respectfully disagree, but if you call it price control, that means 62 of us last Friday stood up for price controls. What it does in reality is introduce competition on prices.

There is one drug called tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is a fantastic breast cancer drug. One could buy it before it became generic for $241 for 60 pills in the United States, and for $34 for 60 pills in Canada. The difference between $241 and $34 is very significant, and that is what we are trying to fix.

I thank the Chair.

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