Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today joined his colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act, which would allow Americans to legally purchase Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription medications from other developed countries. It is estimated that the bill would save U.S. consumers more than $50 billion over the next ten years.

"A great deal of prescription drug manufacturing takes place overseas, and many medications are significantly less expensive in other nations than they are in the United States," said Thune. "By allowing U.S. consumers, wholesalers, and pharmacies to import those drugs safely and legally, as manufacturers do, this bill creates savings that can be passed on to American patients.

"This is a common-sense piece of legislation that will allow for the benefits of competition to bring down drug costs, and ultimately health insurance costs, for everyone."

Americans and American taxpayers would benefit from prices abroad, which are typically 35 to 55 percent lower than in the United States, while still enabling consumers to receive medications at their local pharmacies.

In addition to allowing U.S. pharmacies and drug wholesalers to import medications from other developed countries, the bill would allow individuals to purchase prescription drugs for their own use from FDA-approved pharmacies in Canada.

The bill also mandates strict safety procedures, including pharmacy inspections and "chain of custody" documentation to ensure that prescription drugs are handled only by authorized entities.

The bill is sponsored by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Joining Senator Thune as original cosponsors are Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD), John McCain, (R-AZ), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kent Conrad (D-ND), John Kerry (D-MA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Robert Casey (D-PA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Jon Tester (D-MT).