Lockyer Criticizes Bush Administration Position on Prescription Drug Reimportation in San Francisco Chronicle Opinion Piece
Bush administration officials have acted "like a satellite of the pharmaceutical industry" by "parroting industry PR" and dismissing consumers' concerns about rising prescription drug costs, Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. Lockyer notes that he was one of 20 attorneys general who on Thursday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson requesting "immediate" action to legalize the reimportation of lower-cost, U.S.-made prescription drugs from Canada. Lockyer writes that FDA officials have acted "as if they were pharmaceutical lobbyists" by reiterating industry warnings that reimportation would "force drug companies to slash spending on research and development." According to Lockyer, FDA's argument does not take into account the United States' "substantial contributions" to pharmaceutical research and development funding, nor does it acknowledge evidence that increasing consumer access to prescription drugs has resulted in increased industry spending on research and development. Lockyer concludes that bipartisan momentum will continue to build from legislators wishing to "side with their families" who "feel the pinch every time they open a prescription bottle" by supporting legislation that would legalize prescription drug reimportation (Lockyer, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/10).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.