CAHC Opposes McCain/Klobuchar Drug Importation Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC (October 18, 2017): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations which unveiled its Prescriptions for Affordability initiative to address prescription drug access and affordability earlier this year – responded today to the introduction of an amendment related to prescription drug importation offered by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution currently being debated in the Senate.

CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:

“While CAHC appreciates Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Klobuchar’s (D-MN) work to seek answers to rising drug costs, this amendment is a gamble on patient safety that Congress should not take. Drug importation from foreign countries threatens public health and risks compromising the integrity of our nation’s medication supply – all to achieve a cost savings that both theDepartment of Health and Human Services (HHS) and nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office(CBO) have previously said would be minimal at best,” said CAHC President Joel White.“Americans were reminded of the dangers of drug importation just yesterday when, at a bipartisan Senate HELP Committee hearing on prescription drug costs, every single witness – representing a cross-section of interests and perspectives – registered their strong opposition to such proposals. This rare moment of consensus in the halls of Congress should send a powerful message to lawmakers who would toy with exposing American consumers to counterfeit medications and sacrificing our standards for drug safety to a foreign power. If Congress is serious about reining in prescription drug costs, it will reject this proposal and instead turn to proven, consensus-based reforms like those in CAHC’s Prescriptions for Affordability blueprint, which can reduce health costs by up to $71 billion a year.” 
 
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Background:
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage. Learn more at CAHC.net