Booker-Sanders-Casey Statement on CBO Score of Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernard Sanders (D-VT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) issued the following joint statement in reaction to the preliminary cost estimate of the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act issued by the Congressional Budget Office:

“We are glad to see the independent Congressional Budget Office recognize that the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act — which will help lower prescription drug costs for millions of Americans by allowing the safe importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other nations — will also save taxpayers $6.8 billion over the next ten years. In addition, our bill will help patients struggling with skyrocketing drug costs save money while ensuring critical consumer safety protections — and providing major benefits for American taxpayers. We hope this CBO score will propel Senate Republicans to act and quickly take up this cost- and life-saving measure.”

In February, Booker, Sanders, and Casey introduced the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act to help lower the rising cost of prescription drugs by allowing Americans to import safe, low-cost medicine from Canada and other advanced countries.

The legislation would instruct the secretary of Health and Human Services to put forward regulations allowing wholesalers, pharmacies and individuals to import qualifying prescription drugs from licensed Canadian sellers. After two years, the secretary would have the authority to permit importation from countries in the Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with standards for the approval and sale of prescription drugs that are comparable to those in the United States.

The bill includes detailed provisions outlining safeguards and consumer protections that ensure the safety of imported drugs, including FDA certification of foreign sellers, a clear definition of what drugs may be imported and supply chain security requirements. 

Historic Senate Pot Vote Imminent

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Advocacy groups like the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and Americans for Safe Access are urging citizens to contact their Senator today as a historic vote on de-funding the war on weed nears.

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) proposed amendment to the Commerce, Science & Justice appropriations bill would block the Department of Justice from spending money raiding lawful medical marijuana providers in states that it is legal. The idea passed the House 219-189 in May, in a surprise example of bipartisanship, but it faces much tougher odds in the Senate.

Democratic Senators like Diane Feinstein remain opposed to ending the federal war on medical pot, her office said. She said the amendment would interfere with the police’s ability to shut down “rogue” clubs. Advocacy groups call that argument factually incorrect.

The National Cannabis Industry Association notes: “The amendment does not legalize marijuana but simply prevents tax dollars from being spent undermining state medical marijuana laws.
 The Amendment does not prevent enforcement from combating marijuana-related activity that is not in compliance with state laws.”