Move to allow purchase of Canadian drugs rejected
The Senate failed to pass an amendment that would have allowed individuals to buy prescription drugs from Canada for personal use. The Senate voted 45-55 against the amendment to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The amendment, which needed 60 votes to move forward, would have prohibited the FDA from preventing the importation of FDA-regulated prescription drugs from Canada by an individual not in the business of importing drugs. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the amendment’s author, said in a news release that it would have provided a less expensive option for individuals seeking to buy prescription drugs for their own use. Individuals would have the option to order prescription drugs from Canada by mail or Internet, and could have imported the drugs back to the U.S. in person. The “personal importation” of prescription drugs could limit assurances of consumer safety and reduce patient access to services provided by pharmacists, according to a statement from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.