FDA Will Not Sue Cities, States That Reimport Rx Drugs
The FDA on Thursday announced that it will not sue cities and states that set up plans to reimport lower-cost U.S.-made prescription drugs from Canada, the Boston Globe reports. After a meeting with the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Health Care, William Hubbard, FDA associate commissioner for policy and planning, said that the FDA is "not considering legal action against cities or states" that want to set up reimportation programs. The meeting was one in a series of meetings FDA officials have had with cities and states that are considering setting up such programs. The Globe reports that the FDA policy gives a "boost" to Springfield, Mass., which has set up a program in which city employees can order reimported drugs, and to other municipalities seeking to follow Springfield's lead. Despite the FDA "[s]oftening [its] hard-line stance" against reimportation and offering "blanket amnesty for public officials," the agency still is concerned about the safety of reimported drugs, the Globe reports. "'Buyer beware' isn't a system that works for drug purchasing," Hubbard said, adding, "It's very easy to be injured by a drug." In addition, Hubbard said that the FDA would continue its legal battles against "businesses that sell commercial quantities of drugs" from other countries (Krasner, Boston Globe, 10/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.