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Is Affordable Importation of Prescription Drugs from Canada Being Derailed?

by Carissa Andrews - January 19 , 2017


Healthcare rights are precarious here in the United States right now, I’m not gonna lie. A week after House Republicans began the procedure to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA)[1], otherwise known as Obamacare, I’m still reeling. A day after that historic midnight vote, the Senate also voted against a congressional budget amendment for 2017 put forth by my own state’s senator (Minnesota), Amy Klobuchar, and Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders. In this amendment, plans were detailed and outlined to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to import Canadian drugs from reputable Canadian pharmacies in order to lower the prescription costs. We’re talking the exact same drugs we have here in the United States, but just cheaper. It failed, largely because of the thirteen Senate Democrats who voted against the measure. While it’s speculated[2] the votes were done largely due to money these Democrats have received from drug companies, they maintain it was because they were unsure of the safety of the drugs.

Former Secretary of Labor under the Clinton Administration, and current Political Commentator, Robert Reich[3], responded in a statement on Facebook, “Rubbish. Canadians are just as concerned about safety as we are. Most of the drugs that would be imported from Canada were originally manufactured in the United States, anyway. Booker and other Democrats who opposed the Sanders amendment are longtime friends of Big Pharma. As MapLight data shows, Booker has received more pharmaceutical manufacturing cash over the past 6 years than any other Democratic senator: $267,338. Other Democrats receiving six-figure donations from Big Pharma – Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, Washington’s Patty Murray, and Colorado’s Michael Bennet — also opposed the amendment. We have no hope of winning back Congress and the presidency – and winning back the confidence of the American people – if elected Democrats take big money and vote the way big money wants them to.”

The scare tactics being used right now both by politicians and in the media is astounding. Luckily, the push for affordable medications, and the benefit of importing from Canada isn’t likely go away any time soon.

Photo Credit: by CANPharmaWorld
Photo Credit: by CANPharmaWorld

Revival of the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act[4]

Luckily, that wasn’t the only egg in the basket. On January 10, 2017, senator Klobuchar also introduced a bipartisan bill[5] to the Senate with Arizona senator John McCain[6]. The sentiment is similar.

Sen. Klobuchar stated, “Canadian families right across our northern border [of Minnesota] pay on average half as much for their prescription drugs, but laws currently on the books prevent American families from buying these cheaper alternatives. That doesn’t make sense, and that’s why I’ve joined with Senator McCain to introduce bipartisan legislation to allow Americans to safely import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. To be clear, these are the same drugs with the same safety standards and the same dosages that are sold in the United States. Passing this legislation would increase competition, bring down drug costs, and save American families money.”

According to Sen. McCain’s website, the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act would allow individuals to safely import into the United States a personal supply of prescription drugs. Under the legislation, imported prescription drugs would have to be purchased from an approved Canadian pharmacy and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Drugs imported under this bill would be the same dosage, form, and potency as drugs in the U.S., but at a significant savings to U.S. consumers. In 2015, 16.7 percent of all health care spending in the U.S. went to prescription drugs, an increase from about 7 percent in the 1990s. A recent analysis[7] found that there have been double-digit drug price increases in each of the past three years.

My Experiences with Affordable Prescriptions and Healthcare

Here in Minnesota, we’re pretty lucky. I live in a more progressive state, which has more healthcare opportunities for people like me. I’m a freelance writer and graphic designer, working from home to support our family. Because I don’t work in a traditional job, healthcare of any kind can be difficult. Through MNSure[8], I’ve been able to have great health insurance and prescription drug coverage for our family.

Granted, I’m unsure how the Obamacare repeal might affect our coverage, if it goes through. This uncertainty translates into a definite fear of what the future might hold for us. While no one in my family is currently ill, I do have six children and a husband—so crazy things are always bound to happen. It’s just a matter of odds. Without the proper coverage, medical bills could add up quickly and it would be devastating. As it is, my husband suffers from migraines, so the medications he uses to prevent and treat them would be astronomical every month. Without him, he’d be spending a lot of time in a dark room, hoping the debilitating migraines pass. It’s not a good place to be.

Related: Prescription drug searches by state: Who’s looking for what, and where?

Having our options as open as possible—as with the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act would provide some semblance of relief, should prices continue to rise at astronomical rates. Unfortunately, the recent vote on the budget amendment doesn’t bode well for us. Should the same thirteen Democrats vote against American’s interests, we could find ourselves in a world of hurt with no way to pay for it.

For now, though, Americans are still ordering affordable medications from safe, certified Canadian Pharmacies that deal with the exact same medications found here in the United States. Only at a much better price. For more information about ordering your prescribed medications by a reputable, certified online Canadian Pharmacy, go to PharmacyChecker.com or visit our website at CanadianPharmacyWorld.com.

References:

1. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-vote-obamacare-repeal-measure-late-night-session-n705816

2. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-vote-obamacare-repeal-measure-late-night-session-n705816

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Reich

4. http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/5ad58b22-9dde-4b3b-98e2-12178c715618/safe-and-affordable-drugs-from-canada-act-1-9-17.pdf

5. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/92/actions?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22klobuchar+mccain%22%5D%7D&r=11

6. http://www.12news.com/news/politics/national-politics/mccain-klobuchar-americans-should-be-able-to-get-prescriptions-from-canada/384870432

7. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/01/11/prescription-drug-prices-jumped-more-than-10-percent-in-2015/?utm_term=.46b4f7ccea28

8. https://www.mnsure.org/

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Carissa Andrew considers herself a triple threat: write, design and marketing. Her passion lies in mixing these three together with creativity and sass.


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