Importing Drugs Reenters Healthcare Debate

by Toby Roberts on December 4, 2009

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) will bring an amendment to vote this week to allow importing of prescription drugs from Canada to lower the cost of healthcare reform. The amendment would override an agreement between the White House and pharmaceutical companies in which the industry agreed to payback billions of dollars in rebates to the government to help fund the healthcare bill.

Despite the potential to turn large pharmaceutical companies into opponents of reform, Dorgan believes the amendment has a good chance of passing. If he is able to put together bipartisan support and gain at least 60 votes he will be successful in adding the amendment to the reform bill. Dorgan notes that the amendment would keep drug prices low without the necessity of negotiation between the government and big name pharmaceutical companies.

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