The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), representing full-service U.S. healthcare distributors is fully reviewing the Health and Human Services (HHS) Task Force Report on Importation. The nations healthcare distributors are committed, first and foremost to patient safety and the integrity of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain. As such, we are continuing our work with the Administration and Congress to ensure that a safe and secure prescription drug supply chain is the paramount consideration in the debate over drug importation, said John M. Gray, HDMA President and CEO. HDMA and our member company distributors have testified before the HHS Task Force and weve been consistently outspoken on the critical importance of assuring patient safety when considering the issues of drug importation. Our focus has been, and continues to be, on three key safety issues we believe must be thoroughly addressed: product authentication, product integrity, and product availability. Each offers significant challenges that require extensive study and consideration before moving forward with any importation proposal. Gray continued, Today as drug counterfeiting and terrorism are front-and-center issues, we urge policymakers to be exceedingly careful before moving forward with any program to import medicines from abroad. HDMA will continue to provide policymakers with fact-based information on supply chain issues as importation is considered. In the meantime, we applaud the continued efforts of HHS to conduct a comprehensive review of the issues and identification of the concerns surrounding importation. Statement by Dr. Paul Antony, Chief Medical Officer, PhRMA, on Drug Importation Task Force Report, December 21, 2004PhRMA looks forward to reviewing in detail the Report on Prescription Drug Importation released today by the Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Drug Importation. PhRMA notes the reports acknowledgment that:
- drug importation presents substantial safety risks, and foreign governments do not assure the safety of drugs exported from their countries to the United States;
- the overall cost savings from drug importation would likely be small and, historically, a large portion of any savings have been retained by middlemen rather than being passed on to consumers; and,
- legalized importation would reduce research and development into new drugs and likely reduce the number of new therapies by as many as 18 new medicines per decade.