Thursday, May 03, 2007

Senate Considers Price Controls

The Macaca Post reports:

Ignoring a White House veto threat, [Senate] lawmakers voted 63 to 28 to move to a final vote on adding the drug importation provision to a larger bill on the operations of the Food and Drug Administration.

"There is a pricing problem with prescription drugs," said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), who co-sponsored the amendment with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). "The identical drug, FDA-approved, the same pill, put in the same bottle, made by the same company, is set virtually every other place in the world at a lower price. And the American consumer is told, 'You know what, we have a special deal for you: You get to pay the highest price in the world.'"

"The rest of the world" imposes price controls that the Senators are too cowardly to directly consider.

Earlier this week, the White House issued a statement saying that Bush's advisers would recommend that he veto any importation provision that did not address safety concerns around imported drugs that were identified by a Department of Health and Human Services task force in 2004.


"The administration believes that allowing the importation of drugs outside the current safety system established by the FDA without addressing these serious safety concerns would threaten public health and result in unsafe, unapproved and counterfeit drugs being imported into the United States," the White House statement said.

Despite support in the House and Senate, the White House for years has blocked legislation opening the borders to the reimportation of U.S.-made pharmaceuticals, arguing that their safety cannot be assured. During the Clinton administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala similarly concluded that she could not guarantee a safe system for drug imports.

For related background on how Congress and the Democrats want to mismanage American health care, check out Democrats Want Old People to Die.

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