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Drug Importation

Drug importation may sound like a solution to lower prescription drug costs in the United States, but it has the potential to do more harm than good.

Here's why:

  • Drug importation puts patient safety at risk. Imported drugs aren't subject to the same safety and efficacy approval process as drugs developed in the United States. The FDA cannot verify the quality or safety of medicines purchased online and overseas. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates 10 percent of medicines worldwide – and up to 50 percent of the drugs consumed in developing nations – are counterfeit.
  • The cost savings are minimal, and won't be passed on to patients. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that legalizing importation would only result in a 1 to 2 percent decrease of pharmaceutical spending.

Legalizing drug importation could expose our nation's medicine supply to unsafe and counterfeit drugs and put patients' lives at risk.