AARP and Dangerous Rx Importation Schemes

AARP and Dangerous Rx Importation Schemes

03.30.11 | By

When the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) started providing substantial savings to millions of seniors and disabled Americans, AARP publicly stated that "many [seniors] who choose the least expensive Medicare drug plan in their area that covers all their drugs could pay less this year than getting those same drugs from Canada. This is still the case today. Since 2006, when Part D took effect, more than 27 million enrollees have joined the program and benefited from substantial rebates and discounts negotiated between private drug plans and biopharmaceutical research companies.

The Medicare prescription drug program is delivering on its promise to provide access to medicines for millions of America's seniors, with high rates of satisfaction, and is a rare government program that is costing taxpayers far less than projected as a result strong private-sector competition. Private-sector competition among plans is also helping millions of seniors save money.

What's troubling is the fact that an organization representing tens of millions of seniors continues to support dangerous prescription drug importation schemes that would open up the closed U.S. drug supply to potentially lethal counterfeit medicines from foreign countries. If the recent 60 Minutes counterfeiting segment taught us anything, it is that we must take the worldwide counterfeit medicine epidemic very seriously and that no country is immune from this threat. For this reason, PhRMA continues to oppose legislative schemes that could put millions of patients' lives at risk.

Finally, as you are aware, there is currently help out there for financially-struggling and uninsured Americans through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). PPA was spearheaded by America's biopharmaceutical research companies and serves as a clearinghouse of more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs that provide free or nearly-free medicines for qualified patients. As we approach the 6 year anniversary of PPA, we're proud to say that we have helped nearly 7 million Americans.

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