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BY: Charles Fain Lehman
Amid ever-rising prescription drug costs, a bill working its way through the Florida state legislature is the latest effort to use Canadian prescription drugs to cap prices.
Idea - Prices - Canada - Rates - Republicans
The idea, which would tie American prices to Canada's capped rates, is increasingly popular even among Republicans. However, critics have voiced concerns, worrying that what seems like an easy, safe proposal could actually open yet another floodgate of dangerous drugs into the United States.
The high price of prescription drugs is a perennial challenge for policymakers and consumers alike. Although more than 80 percent of prescriptions filled in the United States are for generics, the remaining 20 percent of brand-name prescriptions contribute to America spending more on healthcare than most of the rest of the developed world. A 2016 study indicated that per capita prescription drug spending in the United States was more than twice that of 19 other industrialized nations, thanks largely to the high cost of brand-name drugs.
Nations - America - Neighbor - Government - Regulators
Among those other nations is America's northern neighbor, where government regulators set an upper bound on some pharmaceutical prices. Importation takes advantage of this disparity: By essentially creating a common market for drugs, the argument goes, U.S. prices will be driven down to Canadian levels.
This idea is commonly associated with the left—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), for example, has long been a supporter. As drug prices continue to rise, Republicans have grown more willing to consider government action. Sens. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Rick Scott (R., Fla.) have floated a bill to cap prescription drug prices, while Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) has his own bipartisan drug importation proposal with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.).
Interest - Importation - Extends - State - Level
This new Republican interest in importation extends to the state level. The push for drug importation in Florida is being led by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.)...
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