Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

House Votes to Ease Prescription Imports

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

House Votes to Ease Prescription Imports

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Amid growing public resentment of high prescription drug prices, the House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to prevent the government from discouraging the purchase of drugs in Canada or other countries.

An increasing number of Americans have been going to Canada, Mexico and other countries to purchase prescription drugs cheaper than what they cost in the United States.

Technically, it's illegal to import prescription drugs that were originally made in the United States, and the Food and Drug Administration sometimes sends warning letters to people caught doing it. The agency gives its employees discretion to permit imports of drugs that violate its restrictions so long as they are intended for personal use.

The House approved, 363-12, an amendment to an FDA appropriations bill that would prevent the agency from enforcing the importation ban, so long as the drugs are for personal use. A second amendment, approved 370-12, would bar the agency from sending the warning letters. …

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