The Business Council opposes S.5682 (Skoufis) / A.7588 (Gottfried), which would create a dangerous drug importation program in the state.
The cost for employer-sponsored coverage continues to rise and we appreciate that policy makers are looking for ways to "bend the cost curve" for the health care system. However, the idea of importing drugs from foreign countries is one that places employers, employees and individuals in actual danger and is therefore not an idea that should be further considered by the Legislature.
This is of course not a new idea, in fact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has had the authority to certify importation programs for over a decade and a half. They have declined to do so under both Republican and Democrat administrations because the importation of drugs from foreign countries creates too great a risk for patients.
Approximately ten percent of pharmaceuticals produced throughout the world are substandard or counterfeit and the FDA has concluded that even drugs imported from Canada fall in this category, “…nearly half of imported drugs claimed to be Canadian or from Canadian pharmacies, 85% of such drugs were actually from different countries.”
We appreciate the sponsors’ sincere look at issues driving health care costs and we look forward to continuing conversations regarding finding safe and effective ways for employers, employees and individuals to save money on healthcare, but this bill is not the way.
For these reasons, The Business Council opposes S.5682 (Skoufis) / A.7588 (Gottfried).