Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is introducing a bill today that would make it legal to import prescription drugs from other countries. Many Americans now travel to the north to buy prescription drugs at much lower prices. Grassley says he sees it as a trade issue, as he says the U.S. imports most anything from almost any country that wants to sell to us. He asks, “Why do we not want drugs to come into the country?” Grassley, a republican, says he would need help from democrats, as American drug companies are against the move. He says our pharmaceutical countries don’t want the competition, but he thinks they ought to have the competition. He says our consumers should enjoy the benefits of enhanced competition. Grassley says the bill would give the F-D-A 90 days to come up with a system to register and inspect Canadian drug supplies.He says we don’t import food into the United States without some control over its safety, that it’s good quality for our people to eat. He says we ought to have the same assurances about drugs coming into the country. Grassley doesn’t think the F-D-A regulation would drive up the cost of Canadian drugs. He says considering the fact that seniors pay 30 to 300-percent more for U.S. drugs compared to drugs from other countries, he doesn’t think it will increase the cost that much. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy had originally been a co-signer on the bill, but has drop his support. Grassley says Kennedy stop working on it because the Senate democrat leader Tom Daschle put pressure on Kennedy to back off. He says Daschle wants some issues for this fall and didn’t want a bill to pass yet. The bill would immediately make it legal to import drugs from Canada and then two years later open it up to other countries.
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