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Congressional support for legislation to enable US pharmacists, buying groups, wholesalers, and individuals to import prescription drugs is drawing a concerned reaction from pharmacy leaders. The measure, passed by the House as part of the pending Medicare drug benefit legislation, ?would compromise the integrity of the United States? medication supply system and facilitate the movement of counterfeit medications into this country,? officials of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) said.
Calling the legislation ?bad news? and ?the wrong answer? to the problem of rising Rx drug prices in the United States, APhA Executive Vice President John Gans warned that opening the door for prescription drug imports from Canada or other countries would ?compromise safety in the name of expediency.?
Congressional supporters of the legislation maintain that import flexibility is necessary to ?reverse the perverse economics of the American pharmaceutical markets? and to ?give all Americans immediate relief from the outrageously high cost of pharmaceuticals.?
Gans, however, warned that if the bill becomes law it not only would ?create an avenue for counterfeiters and others who want to do harm, but also would disrupt the important relationships between physicians, pharmacists, and patients that are essential to helping Americans make the best use of their medications.?