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Public Statements

Food and Drug Administration Reform Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Speaker, I want to express my support for the reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under consideration today. The FDA provides essential safeguards for patients in America and around the world, while making possible new treatments and therapies for diseases and conditions which affect millions. This bill supports greater speed of generic medications to market and assures much needed drugs to treat cancer will get to the patients who need them.

However, one provision (Section 805) in this legislation causes me special concern. The section includes the new authority for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with the Department of Homeland Security to cause the destruction of any drug ``that has reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death ..... or that is valued at an amount that is $2,000 or less.'' This section poses a serious concern to hundreds of thousands of Americans who receive their drugs by mail from licensed and regulated pharmacies in Canada and other foreign countries. For these patients, these American consumers, there is often only one choice beyond a Canadian pharmacy, and that is to not purchase the medicines they need at all.

Patients expecting receipt of legitimate prescriptions, written by their doctor and filled by a licensed pharmacy in Canada, could have their shipment of medication destroyed without receiving any notification either before or after the Federal Government takes that action. A bus full of senior citizens which crosses the border into Canada to visit a pharmacy where they can fill their prescriptions for one-third the price of the same medications in the United States could have their pill bottles seized at the border, their meager budget for their monthly health care expenses already exhausted. This is not good policy, nor is it what Americans expect from a free market.

This language threatens a critical, cost-effective supply of medications and pharmaceuticals. These drugs are exactly the same as their counterparts sold in America. I urge further discussion of this critical issue in conference and a full examination of the consequences of passing this provision into law.


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