Wednesday, December 16, 2009

US Senate rejects drug imports under health bill

From Reuters:
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday rejected two proposals to allow Americans to buy cheaper prescription medicines from other nations, preserving a deal between the White House and the pharmaceutical industry.

A bipartisan group of more than two dozen senators had sought to allow drug imports from Canada and other countries -- where drugs often sell at a much lower cost than in the United States. But they saw their proposal, which needed 60 votes to pass in the 100-member Senate, fall short by a vote of 51-48.

"We shouldn't be paying the highest prices in the world," Democrat Byron Dorgan said before the vote on his proposal.

Other senators backed a separate measure to allow imports that have been certified as safe by U.S. health officials. Also needing 60 votes, the proposal lost, 56-43.

The measures were offered as part of broad Democratic legislation to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system by expanding access to health insurance, tightening insurance industry regulations and controlling certain costs. ...more

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