St. Louis, MO, October 3, 2011--In response to many stories identifying cost-related challenges created by high prescription medicine prices, the publisher of a leading informational web site dealing with issues of an aging America, has issued a statement that a ‘Common Sense’ approach to personal importation of prescription medicines offers the most immediate and viable option to the problems created by prescription drug prices in the U.S., the highest in the world:
Daniel Hines, publisher of www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com notes that:
“For more than a decade, we and other advocates and groups have worked both individually and collectively to provide Americans relief from the highest prescription medicine prices in the world by supporting their right and recognizing their capability to make responsible decisions in their purchases of safe, affordable medicines from proven reputable sources outside the U.S
“Concurrently, we were among the first to identify the potential of the detrimental fiscal impact for both citizens and government of high prescription medicine prices, when, nearly four years ago, we first called for the U.S. government to ‘just do it’ in regards to lowering prescription drug costs
“Now, with the continuing fiscal crisis facing local, state and Federal governments, and with millions of Americans unemployed, there is a finally a growing consensus among a growing number of groups and policy-makers that healthcare costs are indeed a primary driver of our budgetary crisis, and, significantly, that prescription medicine prices are a major contributor to healthcare costs.
“The problem calls for a ‘Common Sense’ resolution such as presented again in a statement we made in August of this year , namely that ‘Common Sense’ recognizes the beneficial contribution of personal importation to addressing recent reports that define the extent of the crisis caused by healthcare and prescription drugs costs:
· As the skyrocketing costs of brand name drugs leave millions of Americans skipping doses or abandoning their prescriptions, investors representing 14 faith and health care organizations are petitioning the nation's top pharmaceutical companies to re-examine pricing for commonly used drugs like Lipitor, Plavix and Celebrex in an effort to make them more affordable;
· Cost of heart drugs makes patients skip pills, putting themselves at risk (Mayo Clinic);
· U.S. prescription drug spending will grow 93% during 2008-2018, exceeding all major categories of health expenditures (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services);
· Americans failing to fill prescriptions or not taking their medicines as prescribed because of costs of medicines (Consumer Reports);
· Bi-partisan identification of the problem of healthcare costs in resolving our fiscal crisis (Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), former Senator John Danforth (R-MO);
· Recognition of the ‘safety valve’ function of personal importation in preventing prescription medicine prices from going even higher “Basically, what’s going on with Canada is a little bit of leakage, It’s a release valve so that American consumers don’t get more upset with the prices’’ ( Arthur A. Daemmrich, assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School);
· Formation of a Congressional Caucus by Representatives Joanne Emerson (R-MO) and Peter Welch (D-VT) to work to lower prescription drug prices (Representative Emerson is a long-time supporter of personal importation of prescription medicines);
· Reports of Seniors falling Into Doughnut Hole buying fewer drugs (Kaiser Family Foundation);
· As many as one in ten elderly people in the US, registered with Medicare, not have access to their prescribed medication because it is too expensive (Dr. Larissa Nekhlyudov and colleagues from Harvard Medical School);
· Adoption of a new policy by the FDA facilitating importation of ingredients for pharmaceutical manufacture in the U.S. to address drug shortages in this country via reciprocal agreements with regulatory agencies in other countries, validating a process of reciprocity long advocated by supporters of personal importation;
· Numerous private and government support systems exist to help ease the cost for America's poor, but there are still millions of patients who are uninsured, and many who can't find cheap medicines in the U.S. look abroad… To avoid high prices at home, U.S. patients have trekked to Canada for decades to buy their medicines… pharma companies and myriad industry-funded groups have scared Americans into believing that drugs from overseas pharmacies are inherently dangerous (American Enterprise Institiute);
· Introduction of legislation by Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) supporting personal importation to relieve the growing problem of shortages of medicines in the U.S..
“These actions/situations from diverse groups reflect the extent of the problems and challenges caused by the pricing practices of Pharma that have made the cost of medicines in the U.S. the highest in the world, Hines says.
“ The most immediate and viable solution to these challenges is a ‘Common Sense’ approach protecting the right of Americans to purchase their safe and affordable medicines from reputable sources outside the U.S.
“The FDA’s actions for reciprocal agreements with other countries regarding ingredients for pharmaceutical manufacture can be a model for addressing questions of safety and efficacy.
“And, last but not least, we believe that for more than a decade, the safety and efficacy of personally imported medicines has been demonstrated by millions of Americans utilizing their ‘Common Sense’ validating that they are capable of acting in a responsible manner in making prescription drug purchases.”