Vitter Continues Push for Prescription Drug Reimportation Amendment in Senate
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) continues to seek a legislative vehicle for an amendment that would allow the reimportation of lower-cost prescription drugs from other nations, CongressDaily reports (Heil, CongressDaily, 10/4). Vitter on Sept. 15 introduced an amendment to the fiscal year 2006 Agriculture appropriations bill (HR 2744) that would allow FDA to regulate reimportation (California Healthline, 9/20).
However, he did not bring it to the floor because he was concerned that the cost of implementing drug safety requirements would cost votes, he said (California Healthline, 9/23). As a result, the provision was included in the House version of the agriculture bill but not in the Senate version, and supporters concede that the language likely will be removed during a House-Senate conference, according to CongressDaily. The Bush administration has threatened to veto the legislation if the prescription drug provision is included.
Vitter said he and other supporters of reimportation are exploring other avenues to attach the amendment, CongressDaily reports. Vitter said, "We are constantly looking for the right vehicle." Meanwhile, other supporters of reimportation also are pushing to bring the issue before the Senate this year. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who sponsored a separate reimportation bill with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), said, "We are still strategizing," adding, "I'm sure we'll have another opportunity" (CongressDaily, 10/4).