What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : H.R. 2427. Importation of Prescription Drugs/Vote to Allow the Importation of Less-Expensive Prescription Drugs.
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H.R. 2427. Importation of Prescription Drugs/Vote to Allow the Importation of Less-Expensive Prescription Drugs.
house Roll Call 445     Jul 24, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

Many prescription drugs that are sold in Canada and other countries are less expensive than identical drugs sold in the U.S. Domestic trade laws, however, forbid U.S. companies and citizens from purchasing imported drugs and, as a result, Americans often pay more for their prescription drugs than individuals in other countries. To take advantage of cheaper drugs sold outside of the U.S., many Americans in recent years have crossed the border into Canada to purchase less-expensive prescription drugs; those who require costly prescription drugs on a daily basis have saved thousands of dollars though these Canadian drug excursions. On several occasions, Senator Dorgan (D-ND) has even chartered buses for the sole purpose of transporting senior citizens into Canada to allow those seniors to take advantage of Canada's cheaper prescription drugs. On June 20, 2003, the Senate adopted an amendment during a broader debate on prescription drug coverage to allow the importation of prescription drugs from abroad (see Senate Vote #232). The subject of this vote was final passage in the House of a similar bill to grant Americans access to cheaper prescription drugs from other countries. Progressives supported the measure for two main reasons: 1) as a way to help Americans afford the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy; and 2) to guard against alleged price-gouging by U.S. drug manufacturers. On a vote of 243-186, the House bill was adopted. The next step in the legislative process will be to convene a conference committee to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation. Then, upon House and Senate approval of the conference version, the final version of the legislation would be sent to President Bush for his signature or veto.

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