Prescription Drug Reimportation Could Save Orange County $2 Million Per Year
Orange County officials are continuing to examine the possibility of allowing county employees to reimport lower-cost, U.S.-made prescription drugs from Canada, a plan they say could reduce costs by $2 million per year, the Los Angeles Times reports. A county Health Care Agency executive last month traveled to Canada to study pharmacies that export drugs to U.S. consumers, and county Supervisor Chuck Smith plans to travel to Texas this month to meet with a company that facilitates prescription drug purchases from Canada. If reimportation plans were approved, Orange County would be the first in the state to implement the practice, according to the Times.
Paul Stein, president of the executive committee of the California State Association of Counties, said that Smith's reimportation proposal "could pay big dividends for county employees," adding that there would "be some hurdles" with FDA).
Los Angeles City Council also is considering a reimportation plan, which Council member Dennis Zine said could save the city $10 million annually. In addition, the Legislature last month approved four bills addressing reimportation. Zine added, "The momentum is growing. The bottom line is, we're going to save money for the consumers" (Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times, 9/12).