Former FDA Commissioners are against the legalization of the import of drugs into the US from other countries. They feel that it is a risky idea as it is going to endanger the life of US consumers as they get exposed to fake or contaminated drugs and even ones that may be of low quality.
These former FDA commissioners including Robert Califf, Margaret Hamburg, Andrew von Eschenbach and Mark McClellan have sent an open letter to the members of Congress in this regard. It was posted by the Margolis Center for Health Policy. This is at Duke University.
The fact is that import of drugs will give the Americans access to more affordable medicines. But another fact is that it will harm patients. This will seriously compromise the present system which is guarding the safety of the medical products in the US.
It was Sanders, who is an independent senator from Vermont, asked for legislation in the Senate as well as House that will allow the import of drugs. This will be from licensed sellers who are based in Canada. Later this may be extended to Europe too. Due to price controls enforced by the government, the medications in a lot of countries are much cheaper than in the United States.
These former FDA leaders have warned in their letter that the open market is full of illicit as well as ineffective drugs as this is a lucrative avenue for organized crime. They have also stated that most of these sites selling drugs are based in South America, besides Eastern Europe as well as Russia. This is why consumers will have no way to know where these drugs may be actually coming from or what all they may be containing. In fact, they will not even know if what they ordered is what they are actually getting.
But there are many supporters of drug import too. They have said that these safety concerns can easily be managed. They have also said that the drug industry is unnecessarily exaggerating this risk factor in order to thwart change. Another statement from them states that the drugs will only be imported from those sellers who are FDA-certified. The agency will be going out in order to inspect the manufacturing facilities which are producing drugs that will be exported to the United States.
In fact, they claim that the Internet has been the right source for providing affordable medicines that are imported for personal use. This is done by making use of safe international pharmacies that are online and insist upon valid prescriptions.