WASHINGTON DC (December 18, 2019) — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles "Chuck" Grassley (R-IA) released the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s announcement of a proposed rule to allow certain prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.
“This is a long time in the making and an important piece of the puzzle to lower prescription drug prices. I applaud President Trump and Secretary [Alex] Azar for not succumbing to Big Pharma scare-tactics and moving forward with this bold but thoughtful plan to finally allow more competition in the marketplace,” Sen Grassley said. “I’ve been a longtime advocate of allowing prescription medicine from Canada to be imported to the United States. This proposal would ensure that any drug imported for sale to Americans abides by strict FDA health and safety standards. I look forward to closely reviewing this proposed rule and continuing to work with President Trump and Sec Azar on bipartisan legislation to lower prescription drug-prices.”
The Trump administration proposed rule mirrors bipartisan legislation from Sens Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Grassley, the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2019, to import prescription drugs from Canada that meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety standards, pose no risk to the health and safety of Americans, as well as not allowing controlled substances or biologics to be imported.
Sen Grassley has repeatedly encouraged increased importation of prescription drugs from Canada and worked to address the ever-increasing costs of prescription drugs. In 2017, Sen Grassley and other senators urged HHS Sec Tom Price to use statutory authority to fast-track the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. Sen Grassley sent a similar letter to then-Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell in 2015.
Sen Grassley had previously urged HHS and FDA to reinstate unannounced inspections of prescription drug-manufacturing facilities in foreign countries in light of the administration’s new “Safe Importation Action Plan” as well as the fact that these facilities provide most of the ingredients for production inside the United States.