Prescription Justice heartily endorses Utah bill HB 163, The Prescription Drug Affordability Act, and applauds Utah Representative Norman Thurston (R-63), its lead sponsor. The bill envisions the federal government permitting Utah to import wholesale quantities of FDA-approved drugs from Canada, which would then be dispensed to patients at retail pharmacies and hospitals in Utah. Canadian wholesale pharmacy prices are much lower on many expensive brand name drugs. Utahans would stand to save hundreds of millions of dollars on their collective pharmacy bill.
The bill’s passage would authorize a study, one lead by the Utah Department of Health on the creation of a wholesale drug importation program, one that would operate in accordance with U.S. law. Specifically, Section 804 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, called Importation of Prescription Drugs, makes wholesale and personal importation of prescription drugs from Canada lawful – but only if the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifies that the practice poses no additional risk to the public’s health and safety and will result in a significant reduction in the cost of covered products to the American consumer. HB 163 endeavors that Utah’s program will receive such certification. (more…)