January 24, 2007
Revival of drug bill by Senator David Vitter
by Gerard Shields, Advocate Washington bureau
published January 24, 2007
With the Democrats now the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senatory David Vitter is optimistic for support of his bill which opens up U.S. borders to drug importation. U.S. has the highest drug costs in the world, he advocates for importation to lower the prices of prescriptions medicine. The bill is known as the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act. The bill would leaglize importation, including mail order and the internet... for personal use. Imported durgs would come only through tamper resistant packaging and from countires with an apporval system equal to the United States." However, pharmaceutical lobbyists have taken much effort for these and similar bills not to pass, contributing $14.6 million to the 2006 elections. The pharmaceutical industry has a stance which states that drug importation would "compromise a drug approval system regarded as teh safest in the world."
Implication with pharmacy
This has direct effect on how the pharmacy industry is ran in the US. it would alter every aspect of pharmacy from retail to hospital to the pharmaceutical company themselves. The pharmacist role may expand to educate patients. However, with internet and mail-order prescriptions, pharmaceutical care would decrease. With interests in reducing prescription costs, the personalized care and information a pharmacist provides would be diminished by imporation. Also, there would be more regulation needed, in my opinion, to equilibriate the drug standards and regulations from where our drugs would potentially come from. Drugs may cost less in other countries but do we sacrifice regulation and health concerns for the monetary value? Also, transportation of the drugs into the US may increase the price. The real issue would be with the pricing used by the pharmaceutical companies, and the monopolized and uncapped pricing market that some drugs have. With the pharmaceutical companies expenditures so high in lobbying, they are out to protect their market prices. Healthcare, generally, is already high in the US. Maybe a start in lowering healthcare is to put a cap on drug prices.
January 23, 2007
just seeing if this works =P