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Vitter Reintroduces Comprehensive Reimportation Legislation

Location: Washington, DC

Vitter Reintroduces Comprehensive Reimportation Legislation

U.S. Sen. David Vitter today reintroduced his comprehensive prescription drug reimportation legislation, the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act.

"Last year, we broke the political stronghold of the big pharmaceutical companies with an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill," said Vitter. "Getting that amendment passed into law was a huge first step because it proved that the country recognizes that we can allow the reimportation of safe, FDA approved prescription medications from other countries at lower costs to the American consumer."

Vitter's amendment to last year's Homeland Security Appropriations Bill required the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow individuals crossing the border with Canada to import personal use only prescription drugs carried on their person.

Vitter's comprehensive legislation would provide all Americans immediate relief from the high cost of prescription drugs by legalizing importation, including through mail order and the internet, of certain prescription drugs for their personal use. Also, the bill would establish criteria to promote the safety of domestic and imported drugs. The safeguards would include requirements for either counterfeit-resistant packaging or testing of drug imports.

"We changed the behavior of the Customs Agency, and this bill would provide even more comprehensive reform," added Vitter. "Americans should be allowed access to these safe, affordable medicines through the internet and mail order."

Vitter's legislation would allow the purchase of FDA-approved prescription medicines from facilities from Canada and other highly industrialized nations with pharmaceutical infrastructures comparable to the United States. This policy would enable Americans to purchase safe prescription drugs through mail order and internet - providing greater access to all Americans, not just those who can easily cross the Canadian border. Qualifying internet pharmacies would have to register with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services before being allowed to sell drugs from out of the United States.

"Americans, especially our seniors, deserve this relief from the rising cost of prescription drugs," said Vitter. "The political influence of the big drug companies can not impede the free market."

As a new member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Vitter plans to push this bill and other measures to advocate for safe, prescription drug reimportation.

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