WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John McCain (R-AZ) today applauded the introduction of the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act in the House of Representatives, identical legislation to the bipartisan bill that the Senators reintroduced this Congress. The bill, which was introduced by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, and create major savings for consumers by bringing greater competition into the pharmaceutical market. In 2013, average prescription drug prices were twice as expensive in the United States as they were in Canada, with high costs leading some Americans to skip doses or forgo filling prescriptions altogether.
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. The U.S. spent a total of more than $271 billion on prescription drugs in 2013 alone, and we spend an average of almost $1,000 per person per year on pharmaceuticals – roughly 40 percent more than the next highest country. Senators Klobuchar and McCain first introduced this bill in July 2014.
“Canadian families just across the border often pay a lot less for their prescription drugs, but laws currently on the books prevent Americans from buying these cheaper alternatives,” said Senator Klobuchar. “Our commonsense, bipartisan bill would change that by allowing families to safely import lower-cost drugs from Canada, and I’m looking forward to working with our colleagues in the House to move this important legislation forward.”
“Like many other Americans, far too many Arizonans have been burdened by the rising cost of prescription medication,” said Senator McCain. “No American should have to worry about having to fill a prescription because they can’t afford to pay for it. I thank Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Rohrabacher for introducing companion legislation in the House that would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs into the United States from our neighbors to the north, spur much-needed competition in the pharmaceutical market, and save individual Americans up to hundreds of dollars a year.”