Congressional support for legalizing prescription drug importation from
other countries is building. A bill introduced by Sen Charles Grassley (R,
Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, would legalize imports from
Canada, where cost controls rein in prices. Another plan under consideration
would include European Union countries and Australia.
Research from Boston University School of Public Health bolsters the
bills' prospects. The analysis, led by Alan Sanger, PhD, concluded that US
drugmakers would not lose money on reimportation if at least 45% of the prescriptions
filled from Canada were new. "When you lower prices, people buy more drugs,"
said Sanger, who added that an unknown number of prescriptions never get filled
because of cost.
Vastag B. Reimportation Rising. JAMA. 2004;291(18):2183. doi:10.1001/jama.291.18.2183-a