Importing drugs from other countries

2 NEWS Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (WDTN) – Around the country, many Americans struggle with the high costs of medicines, often having to choose between buying groceries or medications.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is working on federal legislation to allow Americans to buy prescriptions drugs from other countries.

“There’s too much price gouging going on. And big pharma is inflicting big pain,” he said.

Oregon, Colorado, Texas, and Florida are considering similar state laws.

Leigh Purvis with AARP says the idea has come up before, but this time it has wide support.

“Prescription prices and price trends really have gotten to a tipping point, in the sense that everyone is upset about them.”

Although it’s not legal, Americans already buy drugs online from other countries. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh says some imported medications are counterfeit or even laced with dangerous ingredients.

“A lot of around the United States, including here in Florida, from overdoses and medicines that have fentanyl in them,” Freeh says.

Freeh says the state plans are too lax.

But states say they would work with the federal government to ensure imported drugs meet FDA regulations.

The Department of Health and Human Services would have to sign off on any state laws.

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