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FDA Says No to Drug Imports January 28, 2002 - 2:04 PM | Category: Drugs & Adverse Effects | Contact the author here.
The FDA recommends that U.S. Customs Service agents at mail inspection sites be required to send back all small foreign drug shipments they find, said William Hubbard, senior associate commissioner at the FDA in a House commerce oversight subcommittee meeting. The only exemption would be for "compassionate use," where seriously ill patients order drugs from overseas that are not available in the U.S.
Although Congress authorized a rule allowing reimportation of prescription drugs by individuals in last year's final budget reconciliation package (as a way to help individuals buy drugs at the reduced prices often available in other, poorer countries), it is "looking doubtful" that such a regulation will be issued, according to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. The FDA claims that such freedom cannot be allowed while the agency is unable to certify that the drugs coming back into the country are safe and are the same drugs that were exported. This is a fine excuse to protect their pharmaceutical company clients from price competition and to ensure the continued availability of six figure salary jobs at pharmaceutical companies for former FDA officials.
The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2001, pg. B2; Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Law Bulletin, April 2001, pg. 9
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