Schwarzenegger Letter Could Spur Congressional Action on Reimportation
A letter Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) sent to Congress this month urging it to approve legislation legalizing the reimportation of medicines from abroad could lead to prescription drug legislation this year because of California's "size and influence," some experts say, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Peter Pitts -- a former associate FDA commissioner and current vice president for health affairs at the public relations agency Manning, Selvage & Lee -- said that Schwarzenegger's letter is "really important" because it represents "an acknowledgement from the largest state (by population) in the Union that this issue is a federal one" that needs to be addressed by Congress and not at the state level (Wood, Christian Science Monitor, 1/18).
The letter states, "Drug prices continue to escalate, and there is no evidence that the federal government has been able to bring more equity to the global pharmaceutical marketplace." Therefore, "Congress must act to allow Americans to import safe prescription drugs," the letter states (California Healthline, 1/3).
Schwarzenegger has vetoed four reimportation bills because he is "concerned that quick legislative fixes at the state level would be contrary to federal law and over-simplify the complex safety, trade, supply and pricing issues involved" (Christian Science Monitor, 1/18).