Over the past few months, we here at eDrugSearch.com have been sometimes jubilant — and sometimes cautious — about the prospects of proposed legislation that, once and for all, would allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
It should be a slam dunk. After all, President Obama is for it. Influential Republicans like John McCain are for it. Democrats, who control Congress, have been overwhelmingly for it for years.
And of course, by every poll I’ve seen, between 70 and 80 percent of the American people are for it.
Done deal, right?
I’m afraid not. In fact, it’s beginning to look like the legalization of Canadian drug sales to Americans will once again fall into the legislative dustbin, used as a bargaining chip by the Obama Administration in its negotiations with Big Pharma over healthcare reform.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
The chief lobbyist for brand-name drug makers said he has heard reassuring words from White House officials about the longstanding issue of allowing reimportation of prescription drugs from other countries…
As a presidential candidate, President Barack Obama endorsed re-importation, an idea the industry opposes. White House officials have told the industry if the larger health care bill passes, the cost savings will be so great that reimportation will be unnecessary, according to Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
There it goes — your right to buy drugs from Canada, lost in the negotiations with Big Pharma over the financial “concessions” they will make for healthcare reform.
Not everyone’s happy with this development, of course. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent and strong Canadian pharmacies proponent, told the Journal: “I will fight for this.”
Let’s see: Sanders, McCain and whatever handful of Democrats are willing to buck Obama versus … Obama and everyone else.
Good luck with that, Bernie.
Roll Call’s headline on the White House/Big Pharma story says it all: Score One for PhRMA.