Senate Committee Endorses Drug Reimportation Provision

July 22, 2005 ( - The US Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-8 to include a provision allowing reimportation of foreign drugs in its bill reauthorizing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) believes including the provision in the bill that the Senate definitely wants to pass will help efforts to pass drug legislation too.  

The provision that was added to the FTC bill includes proposed Senate legislation and amendments by Vitter, including a requirement for packaging of imported drugs to incorporate anti-counterfeiting technologies and a requirement that officials designate countries other than Canada from which imports can be received, according to the newspaper.   Canada has threatened to limit drug imports.

Those for drug importation cite prescription costs as the primary reason.   Those opposed say they are concerned about the safety of imported drugs.   Vitter believes they are really concerned about industry profits, the newspaper said.

Last year the Senate proposed legislation to allow immediate reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada and later reimportation from other European countries (See  Senators To Propose Canadian Drug Bill ).   The House of Representatives passed a measure last year barring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from spending funds to enforce its prohibition of drug reimportation (See  US House Gives Thumbs Up to Drug Reimport Measure ).