In 2017, Kaiser Health News reported that 19 million Americans import their prescription drugs from abroad. They can fill their prescriptions and save a lot of money. But, the pharmaceutical industry and its allies continue to perpetuate the myth that drug importation is unsafe. In fact, all the evidence suggests that if you use a verified pharmacy, you can safely import low-cost drugs from abroad.
Today, Americans pay twice as much as our peers in Japan and Europe for the same exact drugs. There is no good reason that we pay more. Congress simply has not been willing to regulate drug prices in the US, while governments in other wealthy countries have. But, public pressure is mounting, and there is now a bill in Congress introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Ro Khanna that would ensure we paid no more for our drugs than people in other wealthy countries.
Senator Sanders’ Medicare for All bill, which is receiving a lot of attention these days, would also drive down the price of prescription drugs, along with all health care costs. Other bills proposed to fix our dysfunctional health care system, most of which offer Medicare as a health insurance option for individuals, are not designed to bring down drug prices.
Since it will be a while before Congress regulates drug prices–we likely will need a Democratic Senate, House, and President–the safety of imported drugs has been top of mind for many people. Drug prices in the US are unaffordable for millions of Americans. The pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe you must get your drugs in the US. And, the federal government helps the pharmaceutical industry by making it a crime to import drugs–though it has never prosecuted anyone for importing drugs for personal use.
Today, some 45 million Americans do not fill their prescriptions because of the cost. Some suffer quietly. Some die. Why do our representatives in Congress continue to make it illegal to import prescription drugs, when they allow imported food and other products, and people’s health and lives hang in the balance? They are not representing their constituents but rather the pharmaceutical industry.
Wendell Potter reports for Tarbell that Pharma hires “experts” to promote the myth that it is unsafe to import drugs from abroad. Pharma has also used ad campaigns and supported a novel, The Karasik Conspiracy, to mislead the public about the safety of imported drugs.
People can buy drugs safely from abroad. PharmacyChecker.com verifies pharmacies around the world from which it is safe to buy drugs. No one has died from buying drugs from a verified pharmacy abroad with a valid prescription.
If you want Congress to rein in drug prices, please sign this petition.
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