Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seniors Website Publisher expresses 'dismay' at purported White House stance on medicine reimportation

Publisher of leading information website for America's seniors,caregivers, advocates, policy-makers says purported White House stance on prescription medicine importation needs to be rebuked

Jul 08, 2009 – St. Louis, MO—The publisher of www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com, a leading informational website on aging issues for America’s seniors, caregivers, advocates and policy-makers, has expressed his ‘dismay’ at the announcement by a pharmaceutical industry representative that the Obama Administration has said that access to safe, affordable medications from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One countries might not be necessary to reduce the cost of prescription medicines for Americans.

Daniel Hines
, publisher of www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com, was responding to a statement by Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) after an industry meeting with White House Staff, Tauzin is a former Louisiana Congressman, most noted as the Congressman who made possible provisions in Medicare Part D that ensured windfall profits and locked-in markets for the pharmaceutical industry, free of price negotiation, and establishing the ‘Doughnut Hole’. Upon resigning from Congress, Tauzin was named to his current PhRMA position at a $2 million annual salary.

“Tauzin implies that the White House believes that claimed savings of $80 billion over 10 years ‘negotiated’ with the Senate Finance Committee to reduce the costs of drugs sold to seniors in the Doughnut Hole, and other hoped for savings from comprehensive healthcare reform will be so great as to make individual importation ‘unnecessary’ “ Hines observes. “This is a fantasy that the American public should reject.”

Hines notes that the claimed Part D savings come on the heels of windfall profits made possible by price increases by the pharmaceutical industry over the life of Part D that have been so great as to force untold numbers of America’s elderly to either split their medications, or even quit taking vital medicines.

“:Also, the Congressional Budget Office is expected to score the drug companies’ ‘deal’ as saving far less than the claimed $80 billion,” Hines notes. “And, one must question, what is the leverage of the pharmaceutical industry to ‘negotiate’ legislation from the U.S. Congress, elected by the American citizenry.”

He urged President Obama to reaffirm his stance during the election campaign of support for the inclusion of individual purchases of safe, affordable prescription medicines from Tier One countries (those that are recognized as having standards of safety and oversight of licensed, registered pharmacies in their countries that meet or exceed those of the U.S. FDA).

“This could greatly reduce individual costs, while, at the same time, keeping the pharmaceutical industry ‘in-line’ rather than giving it a free-hand to raise prices and control supplies as it wishes,” Hines says. “By directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enter into some form of reciprocal arrangements, it would be possible to designate Tier One countries and to identify licensed pharmacies in those countries from which U.S. citizens may purchase their medicines, all the while confident of the safety and efficacy of the medicines, as well as the standards of the pharmacy filling the prescriptions.

“At the same time, the Administration should take two steps to further lower prescription prices: (1) Allow the inclusion of lower-cost personally imported prescription medicines into Part D plans to further lower costs to plan enrollees, generating savings for the government, and (2) keep its election campaign pledge to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry, rather than accepting a deal by the industry to lower prices on the conditions of enactment of provisions within any legislation that will actually further increase and guarantee their markets at the expense of the American public.”
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