|Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|By Stephen Barrett, M.D.|
|Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
I buy several prescription medications from online pharmacies in Canada and other countries where prices are much lower for the same drugs – often 80% lower! Millions of Americans like me do this safely, buying from regulated pharmacies with verified licenses. But next year these drugs could be seized and destroyed by U.S. Customs without notice, depending on what the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, decides.
Although the law says that ordering most medications from outside the country is not legal (a law that should be changed), the government has not taken actions against individuals like me who purchase small quantities for personal use. To order safely you just need a valid prescription filled by a licensed pharmacy, and you can’t order a controlled substance, like a pain medicine.
Drug companies are lobbying the government very hard to take actions that would keep Americans paying inflated prices while they sell the same drugs for much less outside the U.S. Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans don’t fill their prescriptions due to high drug costs.
Our Notes: The above was sent to us through a petition asking us to sign and stop this kind of anti competition in health care prescriptions. If big pharma wants to argue that Americans are not safe because there is no way to control those drugs coming from other countries, the same arguments can be made for everything pouring into this country from any other country. The argument is just not valid. Americans should be able to get medications from anywhere in the world in order to save money and not be held at gunpoint to pay the highest prices in the world for the same medications.