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What You Can Do to Fight High Drug Prices
We are asking all Foundation members to write a short personal letter to their two Senators. The letter on the following page is an example of what you might want to write to urge your Senators to pass the House's version of The Pharmaceutical Marketing Access Act of 2003 (H.R. 2427). If this bill is passed into law, the cost of prescription drugs will be drastically reduced.
Corrupt bureaucracies will trample basic human rights as long as the citizenry remains passive and apathetic. Please write a letter in support of this bill and mail it to your two Senators.
To find your two Senators, call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 1-202-225-3121. If you want to discuss this with your Senators, you can be connected to their offices directly.
Please confirm to me in writing that you will vote YES for the drug importation bill (The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003).
Americans Deserve World-Class Drugs at World Market Prices!
Two years ago, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Medicine Equity and Safety (MEDS) Act. It was the intent of Congress to allow Americans to import wholesale quantities of lower-cost prescription drugs into the United States. But the promise of this legislation has gone unfulfilled. Even though the FDA largely wrote the bill, it has not implemented the law. What has been the result? Americans continue to pay drug prices that are 30-300 percent more than in European and other industrialized nations. Even HHS Secretaries Shalala and Thompson admit that Americans should not have to pay higher prices so that the "starving Swiss" can pay less for the same prescription drugs.
This price disparity is wrong. Despite a second vote in the House in favor of opening pharmaceutical markets (Amendment #150 passed 324 to 101 on 7/11/2001 as part of H.R. 2330), prescriptions continue to go unfilled because prices are too high in the United States. Worse yet, the FDA holds a legal dagger over the heads of those Americans seeking better health who attempt to import FDA-approved drugs. Fortunately, Congress has another opportunity to do the right thing and codify America's right to open pharmaceutical markets.
Market Access: Those countries are limited to: the European Union, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and South Africa. Note: Mexico is NOT included.
Safety: The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act strengthens America's commitment to maintaining the safest pharmaceutical drug market in the world. This bill requires all prescription drugs produced at home and abroad to use counterfeit-resistant packaging, similar to the technology used by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. If the technology is good enough to secure U.S. currency, it's good enough to secure our pharmaceutical chain-of-custody.
Safety: The Pharmaceutical Market Access Act requires the FDA to implement this program within 180 days of enactment. This frees Americans from an environment where patients forgo pharmaceutical treatments, at risk to their own health, because their prescriptions are too expensive.