Senate Votes to Cut Funds Intended to Curb Personal Importation

Last week, we saw the Senate vote to cut the funds made available to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent the personal importation of prescription drugs from Canada. This prescription drug importation provision, introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA), passed the Senate as S.AMDT. 1467 to H.R. 2892 which is the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010. The Senate passed this bill with this amendment on July 9 and has requested a conference committee on all of its amendments. The Senate conferees are:

Byrd; Inouye; Leahy; Mikulski; Murray; Landrieu; Lautenberg; Tester; Specter; Voinovich; Cochran; Gregg; Shelby; Brownback; and Murkowski. The bill must now survive House-Senate talk on a final version.

I spent six years working with manufacturers and wholesale distributors to help secure the U.S. supply chain. From that experience, I learned that just because counterfeits are rare in the US does not mean we should let our guard down. It takes a lot of hard work and constant vigilance. Worldwide, counterfeits are rampant and could be a challenge to safety and confidence in the U.S. supply if this bill finds its way to law. Without significant funding, our FDA cannot protect consumers from the bad guys and the phrase "Let the buyer beware" will never be more true.

Please voice your opinion to your Members of Congress on S.AMDT. 1467 in H.R.2892 by visiting APhA's Legislative Action Center.