March 01, 2021

Senators Hassan, Shaheen, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Allow Importation of More Affordable Prescription Drugs from Canada

Bipartisan Bill Would Permit Americans to Import Drugs from Approved Canadian Pharmacies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and Senate Finance Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined their colleagues in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of health care by allowing individuals to import safe prescription drugs from Canada.

 

“Amid this unprecedented pandemic, even more Granite Staters are struggling with high prescription drug costs – or even foregoing critical medications – but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Senator Hassan said. “I have long called for the safe importation of more affordable drugs from Canada, which will help families across the country secure more affordable prescription drugs and incentivize American pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to help expand access to affordable medication and lower health care costs for all Americans.”

 

“Granite Staters are stretching budgets at home to cover basic necessities – affording their prescription medication, especially during a global pandemic, should not be another burden that could put them in the red,” Senator Shaheen said. “There is bipartisan agreement in Congress that lowering the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs is an urgent need, and this legislation to help meet that goal by allowing the importation of medications from Canada to reduce costs is an important step in the right direction. I’ll continue to work across the aisle to lower prescription drug prices and keep up efforts to ensure costs are not a barrier to care for Granite Staters and all Americans.”   

 

Senators Hassan and Shaheen are working across the aisle to lower health care costs for Granite Staters and Americans. Senator Hassan led successful, bipartisan efforts to secure a provision in the year-end package that was signed into law to help end the practice of surprise medical billing, which Senator Shaheen supported. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hassan also voted to advance bipartisan legislation in 2019 to lower prescription drugs costs by enacting a cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and cracking down on pharmaceutical companies that raise drug prices higher than inflation. Senator Hassan is continuing to work to pass similar legislation.

 

Shaheen has helped spearhead a bipartisan effort to roll back over a decade of insulin price hikes through her Insulin Price Reduction Act. Last month, Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation with Senators Cassidy (R-LA) and Baldwin (D-WI) to close the orphan drug loophole that drug companies use to keep cheaper, generic medication off the market and to rake in profits. Senators Shaheen and Hassan have also advocated for legislation that would allow for Medicare to negotiate drug prices on behalf of seniors. Shaheen introduced the Biologic Transparency Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to encourage competition in the prescription drug marketplace and put an end to the harmful patent strategies that block new drugs from coming to market. She reintroduced the End Taxpayer Subsidies for Drugs Ads Act in January to eliminate tax deductions that pharmaceutical companies use to pay for drug advertising, which ultimately increases consumer demand and gives companies leverage to increase their drug prices.

 

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