California Board of Pharmacy Opposes Bill To Establish State Prescription Drug Reimportation Web Site
Officials for the California Board of Pharmacy are opposed to a bill (SB 1149) that would require it to establish a state Web site directing residents to Canadian pharmacies from which they could reimport prescription drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), is up for a vote by a state Assembly committee on Wednesday.
Under the bill, only Canadian pharmacies licensed by their provinces could be listed on the state Web site, and state residents would be required to have a prescription from a doctor licensed to practice in the United States. Lawyers for the state Legislature examined the bill in July and found that the measure would "not violate the importation or other provisions" of federal law as long as the state provided only the names and contact information of the Canadian pharmacies.
Patricia Harris, executive director of the state pharmacy board, said that the bill would force the board to authorize action that violates federal law, the Times reports. "We want patients to have access to safe medication," Harris said, adding that the board does not want to oppose the bill, "but this is not sanctioned by the FDA."
Ortiz said the bill includes more safeguards than legislation establishing similar Web sites in other states. However, Peter Kellison, a lobbyist for the California Pharmacists Association, said that the bill does not provide assurances that any reimported drugs "meet the same standards of safety and efficacy as those approved by the FDA" (Banks, Los Angeles Times, 8/4).