Former Congressman Speaks Against Drug Importation

Earlier this month, I shared a quick rundown of the dangers of drug importation. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who has concerns about some of the drug importation initiatives being considered on Capitol Hill.

In fact, one opposing voice comes from a former Member of Congress. In an op-ed published in The Hill, Ron Klink, former U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania’s 4th District, explains how drug importation may seem like an attractive solution, but it will undermine the safety of our drug supply chain:

“The United States is a nation that prides itself on safety and security, but we cannot begin to estimate the true financial costs that counterfeit medicines would have as a result of negative impact to Americans’ health.

It is impossible for the U.S. government to regulate drugs that are coming in from all over the world, outside of the FDA’s oversight. And this is a big problem because almost 96 percent of all Internet pharmacies — more than 10,000 in all — are scams of one sort or another, according to a comprehensive study conducted by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.”

He also cites a few harrowing real-life examples of the impact of counterfeit medicines, including an Arizona grandmother who died after taking counterfeit cancer drugs.

Like many of us working on these issues, the former congressman wants an accessible health system for everyone, but drug importation is not the solution. We must continue to work with stakeholders across the health sector to refocus on identifying policies and systems that will truly make life better for everyone.