In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke in support of an amendment she co-sponsored to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment would allow American consumers to safely import lower-priced Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs from other approved countries.
“In Minnesota we’re not afraid of Canada,” Klobuchar said. She added Americans should be able to purchase cheaper medications from the neighbor to the north. “Giving people access to safely imported FDA-approved medication increases competition and gives families and seniors access to safe and effective prescription drugs,” said Klobuchar.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the amendment is estimated to save the federal government $19.4 billion over the next ten years. The CBO said drug prices in the United States have been going up dramatically in recent years – a 9 percent jump in 2009 alone.
Klobuchar’s amendment contains safeguards to prohibit counterfeit drugs from entering the system. The amendment applies only to FDA-approved prescription drugs produced in FDA-approved plants from countries with comparable safety standards.