Will Congress ever put Canadian drugs to a vote?

We reported last week that some clever maneuvering by Sen. Byron Dorgan and Sen. John McCain had put drug reimportation from Canada back on the Congressional front burner, by attempting to attach it to a bill placing tobacco products under FDA oversight.

Unfortunately, the Dorgan/McCain bid was thwarted and the tobacco bill passed without mention of Canadian drugs.

Dorgan is hopeful, however, that his gambit will at least get Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moving on this issue. As MeriNews reports:

Reid said he “hopes to move forward” on a drug reimportation bill. A bipartisan group of senators hoped to attach the measure to a bill giving the FDA power to regulate cigarettes … Reid did not allow a vote on the amendment, saying it could endanger the bill, but he told Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., that he would seek a separate vote. It is unclear when the bill might come up, Reid’s spokeswoman said.

That doesn’t sound particularly encouraging, does it? Dorgan claims Reid has promised to put Canadian pharmacies before the Senate within “a couple of weeks.”

One can’t help but wonder if Reid’s actual plan is to delay the bill until broader healthcare legislation is put before Congress, which could be in the fall — or later.

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