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HDMA criticizes personal drug importation amendment in healthcare-reform bill


ARLINGTON, Va. An organization of the country’s primary healthcare distributors is criticizing an amendment to the Democratic healthcare-reform bill that would allow individuals to import prescription drugs.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-S.D., has added an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would allow personal drug importation. The subject is controversial, with advocates saying it would give cash-strapped patients a way to save money on prescription drugs, while opponents fear that it would open the U.S. supply chain to counterfeit and adulterated drugs.

“Importation of prescription drugs from foreign countries, as Sen. Dorgan and others propose to allow, would compromise the secure U.S. distribution system by increasing the likelihood of entry for counterfeit or adulterated medicines,” Healthcare Distribution Management Association president and CEO John Gray said in a statement. “Efforts to sell counterfeit or adulterated medications produced overseas have become far more sophisticated in just the past few years. Rather than exposing U.S. patients to such risks, Congress should enhance the safety and security of the domestic supply chain through enactment of a uniform federal pedigree standard.”

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