Citing safety concerns, savings options, NACDS decries new importation proposal

6/5/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A new move in Congress to open the gates to direct importation of prescription drugs by patients met with strong opposition from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson expressed concern over the new importation proposal in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The chain pharmacy industry’s alarm stems from an amendment to H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, that would allow the personal and commercial importation of prescription drugs.

“NACDS shares the goal of reducing the cost of prescription drugs,” Anderson wrote. “However, we do not believe that consumer safety can be ensured in any system that allows for the personal importation of prescription medications.

“In addition to questions concerning the safety and effectiveness of the drugs, individuals who obtain prescription medications through a personal importation scheme do not have a licensed pharmacist available to consult with them about using the medications safely and effectively,” Anderson told the Senate leaders.

NACDS’ leader also expressed “serious safety and operational concerns about the commercial importation of pharmaceuticals.”

“Multiple outstanding issues remain, including how to maintain a consistent, safe and adequate supply of commercially imported prescription medications,” Anderson noted.

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