Despite the growing chorus of voices speaking out against drug importation, Congress continues to consider legalizing the practice. However, a new investigative report co-authored by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh may inspire policymakers to change their tune.
The “Report on the Potential Impact of Drug Importation Proposals on U.S. Law Enforcement” presents the most compelling evidence to date.
Drug importation jeopardizes American safety.
The United States has the global gold standard drug review process, thanks to the FDA. This highly regulated, closed drug pipeline ensures Americans receive safe and effective medicines. Drugs manufactured in foreign countries are not subject to these same standards. This increases the chance that medications imported from abroad might be counterfeit or manufactured under sub-standard conditions, putting patient lives at risk.
The report also warns how legalizing drug importation would open U.S. borders to counterfeit opioids, adding to America’s already extensive opioid crisis and straining our law enforcement’s capacity to combat crime.
Freeh further cautions:
“Drug importation proposals would deplete and overburden already limited resources… [and] force law enforcement agencies to make tough prioritization decisions that leave the safety of the U.S. prescription drug supply vulnerable to criminals seeking to harm patients.”
Freeh also cites how importation will not achieve significant cost
savings, nor improve patient access to life-saving medicines.
As policymakers look to improve our health care system, patient safety must remain a top priority. This recent report is yet another reminder of how drug importation will endanger public health. Identifying strategies to increase access to safe medicines without jeopardizing American’s well-being is a solution we can all support.