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March 31, 2007

AARP endorsement

"AARP Presses Case for Rxa"

March 26, 2007

From March 7; PRNewswire-USNewswire

The AARP, non-profit organization for elderly (age 50 and up), testified in Congress endorsing the Pharmacuetical Market Access Act citing high rates of prescription drug costs to Americans. “AARP endorsed the bipartisan Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2007" (S. 242, H.R. 380), which would legalize the importation of FDA-approved medications from certain countries beginning with Canada, impose strict safety standards to prevent drug counterfeiting, and include important provisions to prevent potential trade obstructions.� It was cited that 38 million elderly regard prescription drug prices as the most important barrier to obtaining the necessary drugs. “The importation of prescription drugs is not the sole solution to soaring drug prices in the U.S. However, AARP believes that a system providing for the safe and legal importation of prescription drugs can serve to put downward pressure on drug prices and will permit consumers to realize some savings on the cost of their prescription drugs.� Several parts

Implication to pharmacy:

The endorsement by the AARP raises further support by the group of Americans in which utilize much of the prescription drug age categories. This in turn supports elderly voters who are most concerned with their well being. As pharmacists, you want the best for your patients’ health. As I have previously stated, this act may be a short term resolution to an exponentially growing problem we face in health care. Pharmacists in turn should be more aware of counterfeits and other related problems, such as the correct drug regimen. A foreign pharmaceutical company may not evaluate the drug therapy at the same standard that we would here. Also even with customer support lines to call in for questions, the waiting times and the inconvenience of calling may deter patients from getting to their question. Moreover, I presume many elderly are more comfortable with human contact rather than a voice over the phone or a letter stating drug interactions. Yes, the legislative act could potentially lower prescription drug prices, but as pharmacists, we learn drug therapy assessments that a foreign pharmacy may not do. Can we really trade safety and efficacy for monetary value? Until the questions of safety and equivalence has been determined equivalent in the foreign pharmacies, the legislative act could prove detrimental to those who need prescription medications to maintain their health.

Posted by aluong at March 31, 2007 08:30 PM


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