Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Drug Importation: Dead Again

Importation is off the table (again). See Measure to Allow Drug Imports Fails.

The vote was 51-48 in favor (!) of the amendment, but the number fell short of the 60 votes required in the Senate so the amendment was defeated. Click here to see the roll call of votes by Senator.

I’m amazed that the amendment got a mathematical majority given last week’s letter from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who wrote: "[T]here are significant safety concerns related to allowing the reimportation of non-bioequivalent products." (source)

You may recall that has Dr. Hamburg some direct familiarity with drug wholesaling.

Drug importation has been declared dead more times than a narcoleptic Jason Voorhees, so I presume we'll see this issue come back to life at some point.


  1. Hi Adam,
    great stuff as always !

    pretty ironic (but not at all surprising) how Boxer and Feinstein both voted Yea when they represent a state attempting to require full serialized pedigrees for all drug transactions between legitimate companies in the U.S. regulated supply chain. Isn't that like bolting the front door but leaving all of the windows wide open for anyone to enter?

    How could CA pedigree even work in this instance if supply of medicine
    could be from a retail institution not governed by any U.S. agency? no
    congruency in those approaches from what I can see....

  2. 12/20 Update: Axelrod promises to push for drug re-importation after healthcare reform

    Doubtful, IMHO. Now that he is President, I believe that Obama better understands the risks of importation. Axelrod's statement seems designed to provide political cover for the administration against the pro-importation supporters who don't really understand the dangers.