From the emailbox comes news Senator Russ Feingold is cosponsoring an amendment to the Senate health care bill to give American consumers access to cheaper prescription drugs. Sen. Feingold is supporting a bipartisan amendment by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) that would allow U.S.-licensed pharmacies and drug wholesalers to import and sell FDA-approved medications from Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The measure would save an estimated $50 billion over ten years, and it also happens to be a part of Sen. Feingold’s Control Spending Now Act. Says Sen. Feingold of the amendment:
“This is an important effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs for consumers, and help save taxpayer dollars at the same time,” Feingold said. “It is telling that the pharmaceutical industry, which brings in astounding profits each year, is the main opponent to this amendment. As we reform our health care system, this is a critical moment for Congress to show it is committed to consumers and fiscal responsibility, and not the big drug companies.”
It’s worth noting the amendment also provides safeguards to ensure the prescription drugs being imported are safe for consumers. After the boondoggle that was the Medicare Part D “reforms” enacted by Republicans in 2003, it’s good to see the Senate taking action to correct the flaws in that program.