Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are renewing their push for a bill to allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.
Klobuchar and McCain first introduced their bill in July, but it saw no action. They now plan to revive the legislation in the lame-duck session, according to a report by The New York Times.
The senators say their bipartisan bill will force the pharmaceutical industry to lower prices of generic drugs that are sometimes twice as expensive in the U.S. as overseas. But the law faces strong opposition from U.S. companies, which have already helped stall the bill for years.
“This bipartisan bill would make a commonsense fix and allow individuals to import safe, low-cost prescription drugs from Canada, injecting new competition into the U.S. pharmaceutical market and bringing down costs for families,” Klobuchar wrote in a statement this summer.
The legislation has been introduced in nearly every Congress since former President Clinton as the cost of generic drugs continues to soar.
It is illegal under federal law to buy any medication from overseas with a few exceptions; for instance, if a drug cannot be found in the U.S.
The practice is becoming more complicated to enforce. A new state law in Maine allows residents to buy from pharmacies licensed in Canada, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Separately, officials in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Vermont have also directed residents to websites selling cheaper prescriptions from Canada.