Monitoring the Drug Importation Debates

Tom Kraus, VP of Government Relations for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), discusses patient and drug safety advocacy with drug importation.

Tom Kraus, VP of Government Relations for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), discusses patient and drug safety advocacy with drug importation. This video was filmed at the 2019 ASHP Summer Meetings & Exhibition in Boston, MA.

Tom Kraus, MHS, JD: Another issue that I think there’s an opportunity for ASHP and its members to engage on in the next few months is drug importation. This is an area where ASHP has had a longstanding policy statement with regard to importation and safety concerns about imported drugs, and concerns about the ability for importation to disrupt the relationship that pharmacists have with their patients. There is actively language being considered in some states, including the state of Florida, to allow importation, and the President has directed the secretary of HHS to make that happen. And we’re not quite sure what that will look like yet, but we are going to be paying attention to make sure that any action that is taken ensures the safety of patients and safety of the drug supply. That is an area of concern. And it’s something that, to date, no prior secretary of HHS has been willing to certify the safety of such a program. So it’s going to be an important area for us to be watchful and to be advocating on behalf of patients and pharmacists.