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Letter: Klobuchar flip-flops on affordable meds

Shockingly last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., reversed her long-standing support for imported safe and affordable drugs from Canada by introducing the DRUGS Act, legislation that would rob Minnesotans of daily medications that keep them healthy and alive.

Letter to the editor FSA
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Minnesotans and millions of Americans are struggling to afford the most expensive prescription drug prices in the world. Shockingly last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., reversed her long-standing support for imported safe and affordable drugs from Canada by introducing the DRUGS Act, legislation that would rob Minnesotans of daily medications that keep them healthy and alive.

Purporting to address online opioid sales, Klobuchar’s bill fails to mention the words opioid or fentanyl. Instead, the bill targets “non-domestic” pharmacies. Safe, licensed online pharmacies like those certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association offer 100 percent safety records, require valid prescriptions and do not sell controlled substances or pseudoephedrine. Klobuchar’s bill suspends licensed international pharmacy websites on which millions of Americans rely for affordable medicine.

Klobuchar’s reversal on providing Americans access to safe and affordable imported medicines removes a critical lifeline for Americans from Big Pharma’s greed. Previously, Klobuchar was a champion of allowing importation of Canadian medicine. In 2008, Klobuchar co-sponsored the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act and has been the Democratic lead of the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act since 2014.

It is stupefying that an opponent of Big Pharma would introduce legislation at the urging of drug industry front groups. Seven of eight “independent” groups endorsing Klobuchar’s bill receive funding from Big Pharma. Her legislation aims to combat opioids yet a supporter – National Association of Boards of Pharmacy – accepted a $1 million grant from the maker of OxyContin and also honored a Purdue Pharma executive.

On behalf of the more than 88,000 American Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation supporters, we call on Sen. Klobuchar to rediscover her support for drug importation and help Minnesotans for whom access to safe and affordable prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies in Canada is a matter of life and death.

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Jack Pfeiffer

Pfeiffer is executive director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation, a national nonprofit patient advocacy organization that fights for Americans’ access to safe, affordable prescription medications from Canada for personal use.

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