There was a close vote on drug importation on the Senate floor during Wednesday’s frenzied “vote-a-rama” as the Senate conducted budget resolution proceedings.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) offered an amendment to allow American individuals, pharmacists, and wholesalers to import drugs from Canada. NACDS weighed in through in-person lobbying and a letter to every Senate office, outlining concerns that allowing personal or wholesale importation of prescriptions drugs to the U.S. raises significant safety concerns. The non-binding amendment was ultimately not agreed to, with a vote of 46-52. Of interest, 13 Senate Democrats voted against the amendment, and 12 Senate Republicans voted for it.
NACDS will keep a close eye on this issue, especially given the narrow margin of the vote and shifting dynamics suggested by the cross-party voting.