June 1, 2015
The Honorable Keith Ellison
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Ellison:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse the “Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act,” legislation you are introducing to establish policies for the safe reimportation of pharmaceutical drugs by individuals for their personal use.
As you know, American consumers are charged the highest prices in the world for the same medicines that are available in other major, industrialized nations at a fraction of the cost. Brand-name drug prices in the United States are increasing at a pace that often exceeds the rate of inflation and there is growing concern over the rising cost of some generic drugs. Even with the Medicare Part D drug benefit, many seniors must devote a large share of their out-of-pocket medical spending to purchase prescription drugs.
While importation is not the complete answer to the problem of skyrocketing drug prices, the approach you are considering would enable Americans to benefit from the lower prices available on the world market by allowing individual consumers to import FDA-approved medicines from “qualified countries” including Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa, a member-state of the European Union and countries in the European Economic Area. The drugs must be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist in quantities not to exceed 90 days.
Thank you for your leadership on this important policy that will save hundreds of dollars for many families and ensure the quality of imported pharmaceuticals. We look forward to continuing to work with you to secure enactment of the “Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act.”
President and CEO