US lawmakers reject Canada drug purchases

The US Senate Thursday rejected a measure that would have enabled Americans to buy prescription drugs in Canada in a bid to reduce the costs of their health care.

The measure, an amendment to a spending bill, was defeated by a vote of 45 to 55.

It would have barred the US from spending money to stop people importing prescription drugs from Canada that comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act -- which very few Canadian drugs do.

Even Canadian drugs with identical chemical makeup to US drugs do not technically comply with the law, because the FDA does not inspect Canadian or approve their labeling.

Republican Senator David Vitter, who introduced the measure, has tried and failed on several occasions to gain passage of similar measures, with the question of the importation of drugs from Canada a perennial hot-button issue.

US lobbying groups linked to the pharmaceutical industry had vehemently opposed to the measure.

In a statement Wednesday, the National Association of Drug Store Chains said it opposed the "personal importation" of drugs by Americans.

"NACDS shares your goal of reducing the cost of ," it said in a letter to Vitter. "However, we do not believe that can be ensured under a prescription drug reimportation system."

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5 / 5 (3) Oct 20, 2011
Senator Vitter apparently wants to treat Americans like adults, allowing us to make our own decisions about our own health. Bravo. Too bad the pharma industry was "vehemently opposed". Seeing as how they practically own our Congress, it's amazing this bill got 45 votes.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 20, 2011
"US lobbying groups linked to the pharmaceutical industry had vehemently opposed to the measure."

The lobby groups have the balls to just go up to regular media and tell them, "yes we represent big money, get this bill out of here". You Americans really let these guys run you like this? How can you all vote for more expensive prescriptions when your healthcare system is already so messed up?
5 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2011
Incredible. The United States of Lobbyists.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2011
I wish this article included the roll call of Senators voting for and against, so I could know whether "my" senators are in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry.

Big Pharma has the roll call, and they will be rewarding the 55 senators that opposed this bill, and punishing the 45 senators who stood up for us.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2011
I work in a Pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Toronto, Ontario. We produce a lot of drugs that are produced for and shipped to the US, as well as Canada. The FDA inspects the plant regularly.
To say that Canadian drugs are unfit or non-compliant of US regulations is ridiculous when the only difference is the colour and labelling on the box when the drugs are made for Canadians.
No one in the US who doesn't have selfish economic motives would vote against this bill. I agree that people should pay attention to which members of their government put their own wallets ahead of their constituent's health.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2011
SDrapak - you are absolutely correct. Who these guys think they are fooling is beyond me.

The average American considers Canada to be a peer of the U.S., economically, technologically, etc. So, it's absurd for anyone to suggest that a drug that is "healthy" for a Canadian is not safe enough for an American.
not rated yet Oct 23, 2011
Sorry Senators, I've been buying my drugs from Canadian Pharmacies for YEARS now. Not once have the packages been seized or not delivered. You can pass all the laws you want to, I'll still be buying them. Oh, and some come from India & New Zealand too. Idiots.
not rated yet Oct 25, 2011
My personal solution: I buy generic!