FDA and HHS Implement Safe Importation Action Plan to Lower Drug Prices

FDA and HHS Implement Safe Importation Action Plan to Lower Drug Prices
In this file photo, bottles of prescription drugs: Lipitor, TriCor, Plavix, Singulair, Lexapro and Avapro are displayed at Medco Health Solutions Inc., in Willingboro, N.J., June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Paula Liu

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they have taken steps toward making safe and affordable drugs accessible to American patients.

As outlined in the Safe Importation Action Plan (pdf), there are two ways to provide Americans with safe and affordable drugs—one way relying on the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow drug importation from Canada—the imported drugs from Canada will have to abide by certain conditions to make sure that they don’t pose any risk to both the health and safety of the American public, as well as making sure that the imported drugs will be able to cut costs for the American consumers.

The other way, which is highlighted in the action plan, is to import the same FDA-approved drug sold in a foreign country. This drug needed to be verified by the FDA again to make sure that it is the same as the U.S. version. If that condition is met, then the FDA would allow for the foreign version to be imported and sold.

“Today’s action is an important part of FDA’s priorities to promote choice and competition. The Safe Importation Action Plan aims to clearly describe procedures to import drugs that would lower prices and improve access while also maintaining the high quality and safety Americans expect and deserve,” said Stephen M. Hahn, the FDA commissioner.

“The FDA will continue to assess and act on opportunities to increase competition in the prescription drug market and help reduce the cost of medicines,” he said.

This is one of the parts of President Donald Trump’s American First healthcare plan, as outlined by the press release issued by the HHS on Thursday.

In addition to the lowered price of drugs through importation, the healthcare plan also takes into account healthcare plans and insurance by lowering health care insurance premiums.

“The President’s Plan delivers better care, more choice, and lower costs for all Americans,“ said Alex Azar, the HHS Secretary. ”Because of the President’s leadership, Americans will enjoy lower drug costs, lower insurance premiums, real access to prices of healthcare services and to their medical records, new protections from surprise bills, and the ability to work with their doctor to determine what treatments make sense for them.”

This also comes as Trump announced his signing of an executive order on drug pricing.

“Just signed a new Executive Order to LOWER DRUG PRICES! My Most Favored Nation order will ensure that our Country gets the same low price Big Pharma gives to other countries,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “The days of global freeriding at America’s expense are over, and prices are coming down FAST! Also just ended all rebates to middlemen, further reducing prices.”
The Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this article.