New Consumer-based organization in support of personal importation of prescription medicines launches national campaign
The RxRights Coalition, comprised of advocacy organizations around the country that are concerned about the high cost of pharmaceuticals in the U.S., has launched an outreach and communications program to ensure that Americans are able to exercise their right to access to safe, affordable medicines from licensed and registered pharmacies in Tier One Countries who standards of oversight and efficacy meet or exceed those of the U.S.
Lee Graczyk, acting director of Mature Voices Minnesota, the lead organizer for the Coalition, explains that that vital medications are often too expensive for American consumers because of the predatory pricing practices of the Pharmaceutical industry.
“Personal importation not enhances the health and physical well-being of huge numbers of Americans by allowing them to benefit from the access to vital medicines, and provides financial relief for Americans with prices that are as much as 60 percent less for the very same medicines,” Graczyk explains.
Graczyk points out that Congress has repeatedly passed legislation favoring personal importation, only to see it turned back by extensive lobbying by unmanageable amendments promoted by Pharma.
Now, even though it has made agreements with the current Administration, Pharma continues to raise prices at a pace exceeding the inflation rate, Graczyk explains.
Graczyk also points to the record of safety and efficacy of personal importation of medicines.
“We believe that Americans have the capability to act responsibly in exercising their right to purchase their medicines,” Gracyzk says. “There are many ways of verifying legitimate pharmacies, and one of the most important is their record of providing safe medicines.”
Graczyk himself can point a more than decade-long-history of working on behalf of safe, affordable medicines.
In his role as public policy director of the Minnesota Senior Federation, starting in 1999 he organized monthly bus trips to Canada to ensure that seniors could obtain affordable prescription drugs. The Federation collaborated with then-Senator Mark Dayton to fund this project. For six years, Senator Dayton donated his entire senatorial salary to the cause.
The bus trips helped bring national public attention to all Americans’ need for access to safe and affordable prescriptions, and the Federation soon realized that more than the bus trips were needed to provide access to the medicines. What was required was providing them with the ability to order prescription drugs online, bringing greater convenience and savings to even more Americans.
Graczyk was instrumental in establishing a prescription drug importation program for the Federation. He scrutinized more than 20 Canadian companies, and approved those with the highest standards for the program. All met the standards of Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. FDA
The program is now maintained by Mature Voices Minnesota and currently has 2,200 members. Participants save anywhere from 20 to 80 percent on their prescription drugs by using the service.
Additionally, Internet importation has become a “virtual lifeline” for millions of Americans—a lifeline the RxRights consumer coalition is working to protect to allow continued access to safe and affordable prescription prescription medicines.
The Coalition is a partnership of organizations throughout the country that support reimportation in order to expand this influence. The Coalition’s goal is to inform and educate both the public and elected officials on the issues surrounding prescription drug sales in this country.
Reasons to Join this Effort:
The prices that Americans pay for prescription medicines are the highest in the world.
A prescription drug one cannot afford is neither safe nor effective.
Every American is entitled to enjoy the health benefits made possible by prescription medicines.
Access to safe, affordable prescription medicines from licensed, regulated pharmacies outside the U.S. will reduce the costs of medications and improve the health of U.S. citizens.
Lack of competition in the U.S. allows pharmaceutical companies to fix prices and overcharge Americans.
The Coalition Pledges to:
Present the truth about the safety, efficacy, and cost-savings of prescription medicines from outside the U.S.
Support policies allowing U.S. citizens to exercise their right of freedom of choice in determining where they purchase their prescription medicines.
What You Can Do:
Tell your friends about the website
Contact your Senators and Representatives and let them know that you support prescription drug importation
The Coalition holds regular teleconferences to discuss safe and affordable drug importation. Contact Lee Graczyk to join the Coalition or for more information.