The Center for Innovation and Free Enterprise Opposes the “Safe Importation Action Plan”

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a “Safe Importation Action Plan” which would enable the importation of prescription drugs from Canada to the United States. The Center for Innovation and Free Enterprise (CIFE) adamantly opposes this dangerous proposal which would cause an influx of counterfeit drugs and do nothing to lower prices.

Although CIFE understands that prescription drug prices are a serious concern for Americans, there is no information stating that allowing the importation of foreign drugs would save consumers money. There are however, numerous studies that prove the dangers this would create for the American citizens. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated for years that importation is likely to provide access to counterfeit drugs that would be ineffective, or worse, deadly. Just last year, Secretary Azar referred to drug importation as a ‘gimmick’ and that ‘the last thing we need is open borders for unsafe drugs to flow through.’

The government should not have this involvement in the pharmaceutical market. Both Congress and the Administration should instead focus on free-market solutions that create incentive and promote competition. Continuing to advocate for and implement policies like importation will threaten our intellectual property, new life-saving medications, and even American lives. CIFE feels that this is the wrong ‘solution’ to lowering drug prices and will result in an unsafe and ineffective healthcare system.