Vitter's View: Helping Seniors
This year, I will have the honor of serving on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. This committee is a great forum to exchange ideas about what policies should be put in place to support our seniors. On this important committee, I will also continue to push for the reimportation of safe, cheaper prescription drugs from sources like Canada and through the mail and internet. Reimportation would provide immediate relief to everyone, and especially seniors, with the burden of high prescription drug costs.
While in the U.S. Senate, I have taken every opportunity to press this important issue with my colleagues. Last year we made large strides toward this goal of comprehensive reimportation reform through an amendment I authored and passed. My amendment makes it legal for Americans to go to Canada and bring prescription drugs back across the border and into the United States.
That amendment has opened the door, but we have further to go. All Americans, not just those people who can easily go to Canada, should have access to these safe, cheaper prescription drugs. That is why I have reintroduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to give all Americans immediate relief from the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs. This bill would allow each American to purchase FDA-approved prescription drugs from countries like Canada and through the mail and internet.
My bill also includes new requirements to promote the safety of imported drugs and has safeguards to protect the wellbeing of consumers, including requirements for either tamper-proof packaging or for testing of drug imports. The bill would allow credible, regulated pharmacies in Canada and other nations with safety standards like ours, to sell their medicines through mail order and over the internet. These pharmacies would have to register with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and sell only safe, FDA approved prescription drugs
We have begun to chip away at the grip the big pharmaceutical companies have on this issue, and I believe we will continue making real progress. I am going to keep pushing this issue until we have a comprehensive prescription drug reimportation policy in place.
I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how the U.S. Senate can make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible. Please contact me with your ideas at any of my state offices or in my Washington office by mail at U.S. Senator David Vitter, U.S. Senate, 516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, or by phone at 202-224-4623. You can also reach me on the web at http://vitter.senate.gov.