Bipartisan bill would permit personal importation of drugs from approved Canadian pharmacies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, which would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, creating savings for consumers and bringing greater competition into the pharmaceutical market.

This bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Gary Peters (D-MI). Companion legislation was introduced by Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). Klobuchar first introduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act with the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

“Prescription drugs are unaffordable for far too many Americans,” said Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation would allow for the safe importation of less expensive drugs from Canada, which would in turn increase competition and bring down drug costs in the United States. The fact that Americans pay more than people in other countries for the exact same medications is just wrong. I will continue working to ensure Americans have more options when picking their medications, which will ultimately save consumers money.” 

“Addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs has continued to be one of my top priorities. Safe and affordable prescription drugs have been for sale just across the border, but legally out of reach for American families. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will empower Americans to have more choices at the pharmacy,” said Grassley. “This is one critical piece of the puzzle of improving access to affordable medications. I’ll also continue to fight against high prescription drug prices through increased competition and expanded access to more affordable generics.”

Klobuchar and Grassley have repeatedly encouraged increased importation of prescription drugs from Canada and worked to address the ever-increasing costs of prescription drugs. Together, they have:

  • Urged former HHS Secretary Tom Price to use statutory authority to fast-track the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. 
  • Pressed the FDA on certain drug importation policies and introduced the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act to further reduce costs to patients. 
  • Worked to increase access to affordable prescription drugs by curbing abuse of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) petition process by introducing the Stop Significant and Time-wasting Abuse Limiting Legitimate Innovation of New Generics (Stop STALLING) Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2019.

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