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NFIB Shouldn't Support Drug Reimportation Bill

Armen Hareyan's picture

The National Federation of Independent Business -- which recently announced support for the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act (S 242 and HR 380),legislation that would allow prescription drug reimportation fromcertain nations -- is "being sold a false bill of goods," Peter Pitts,president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, writes in a Washington Examiner opinion piece.

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Accordingto an NFIB letter to the sponsors of the legislation, reimportation"offers a means of reducing one of the most rapidly rising health carecosts facing consumers today -- spending on prescription drugs."However, prescription drugs are expensive but are "not to blame forrising health care costs," Pitts writes, adding, "For every dollar theU.S. spends on health care, only 11.5 cents goes toward prescriptiondrugs."

Pitts writes that the legislation also "comes at theexpense of future pharmaceutical innovation," adding that "NFIB appearswilling to sacrifice tomorrow's miracle drugs and health advances forshort-term cost savings."

In addition, although sponsors ofthe legislation promise that the bill includes a "framework for thesafe and legal importation of prescription drugs," they cannot makesuch a guarantee because medications reimported from "safe" nationsmight have originated in Lativa, Cyprus or other nations, wherecounterfeit treatments can enter the supply chain, Pitts writes. Heconcludes, "America's small-business owners are the lifeblood of thenation's economy," and they "deserve better representation than theNFIB is providing" (Pitts, Washington Examiner, 9/12).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.