National Retiree Legislative Network Endorses
Bipartisan Prescription Drug Importation Bill
(WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2005) – The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) has pledged its strong support of the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act recently introduced in the U.S. Senate. The proposed legislation provides for U.S. consumers to buy safe prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.
“The NRLN has made drug importation legislation a top priority on our legislative agenda for 2005,” explained organization president A. J. Norby.
“Currently, prescription drug costs are rising at 2 to 3 times the rate of inflation, forcing U.S. retirees to pay 30 percent up to 300 percent more than in places like Canada or Europe. That’s because importation of these drugs is illegal in this country. The situation is grossly unfair for American consumers, who end up paying more than their fair share for research and development of new drugs that consumers from other countries benefit from through lower prices,” Norby said.
Among the 27 co-sponsors of the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act are U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
“The bill allows importation of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved drugs from countries with comparable regulation to that of the FDA. It also requires imported drugs to be tracked, examined and properly labeled by licensed pharmacists, so any concerns over safety have been answered,” Norby said.
“We’re urging all of our members and other retirees to contact their elected representative in Congress to urge passage of this needed legislation. It only takes a minute for someone to send an e-mail or write a letter to their elected officials using the ‘Write to Congress’ feature on our NRLN Web site (www.nrln.org),” Norby added.
The NRLN is a grassroots, non-partisan coalition of retiree organizations dedicated to protecting the pension plans and retirement benefits of their members. Based in Washington, D.C., NRLN represents nearly 2 million retirees from Association of US WEST Retirees, Association of BellTel Retirees, Lucent Retirees, Association of Prudential Retirees, Monsanto Retirees Association, Association of Raytheon Retirees, Aetna Retirees Association, along with groups from Boeing, GE, GM, IBM, Johns Manville, AT&T, Portland Electric (Enron), DaimlerChrysler, Delta, SNET and others. For more information, visit the NRLN Web site at www.nrln.org.