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Letter to Representative Emanuel supporting the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2007

August 14, 2007

Dear Representative Emanuel:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2007 (H.R. 380). We thank you for your leadership in introducing this important legislation, which will help address the escalating costs of prescription drugs for all citizens by allowing for the importation of approved drugs under federal supervision. 

As you know, current federal law prohibits consumers in the United States from taking advantage of the global marketplace to purchase affordable prescription drugs. In fact, Americans pay the highest prices in the world for the same medicines available at a fraction of the price to citizens in other industrialized nations. As a result, millions of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, many of them retired educators living on fixed incomes, in addition to those without health insurance, face escalating medication costs. They are some of the many Americans living on fixed incomes who must often choose between buying prescription drugs or paying for food and rent.

We are pleased that H.R. 380 would help establish measures of safety that are higher than under current federal law. The legislation would allow consumers, pharmacies, and wholesalers to purchase FDA approved medicines manufactured at FDA inspected facilities. The measure establishes a regulatory framework for importation and the FDA would regulate shipments of prescription drugs into the United States. Anti-tamper and anti-counterfeiting technologies would protect packaging and the chain of custody of medicines would be closely tracked. Finally, the bill would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services authority to implement measures to make prescription drug importation and distribution as safe as possible.

H.R. 380 would allow consumers to save at least $50 billion in prescription drug costs over ten years. We thank you again for your work on this important issue. 

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy