New legislation proposed by Texas state Rep. James Talarico, a Democrat, and recently passed by the state House could save Texans up to 70 percent on the cost of some commonly used prescription medications.
House Bill 25 would create a program allowing for the import of certain drugs from Canada, where they are orders of magnitude cheaper than they are here in the United States.
“Texans pay twice as much as Canadians for their prescription drugs,” Talarico wrote in a Twitter post on April 12. “But that’s about to change. The Texas House just passed my bill to import cheap prescription drugs from Canada.”
In a near-unanimous vote of 144-1, the Texas House passed House Bill 25, which was co-authored by Republicans Reps. James Franke, Dustin Burrows, and Stephanie Klick, as well as Democrat Rep. Toni Rose.
“The goal of this bill is to safely import those cheap prescription drugs from Canada, so we save lives in our state,” Talarico stated in an interview with WFAA‘s Inside Texas Politics this week.
“And the estimates are that we could save anywhere from 60 to 70 percent on the price of commonly used prescription drugs from asthma medication, blood pressure medication, and cancer drugs – medication that people need for themselves and their families.”
(Related: Texas still has a serious drag queen infestation problem that has yet to be addressed.)
House Bill 25 stands a good chance of passing the Texas Senate and getting signed into law
Republican state Sen. Charles Perry will now carry the legislation into the Senate where it is expected to pass with strong bipartisan support just like it did in the House.
The bill piggy-backs on a Trump-era rule that was passed to clear the way for the import of drugs from Canada into all states, allowing them to lower costs for consumers.
Numerous states, including Florida, Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Vermont have already passed legislation allowing for the direct import of medications from Canada.
“In order to participate in the program, each state must submit its proposal to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) for certification,” reports explain. “The proposal must meet the safety and cost-saving requirements under Section 804 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”
Despite support from an overwhelming 78 percent of Americans, the Trump-era program has yet to be implemented nationwide. This is largely due to stonewalling by Big Pharma, which stands to lose lots of profits if American consumers are allowed to save money by buying their drugs from Canada instead.
In late 2020, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers or America (PhRMA), a trade group representing Big Pharma, opposed the importation of drugs from Canada and actually sued the HHS to block the Trump-era measure.
PhRMA argued that the HHA and FDA action “would permit pharmacists and wholesalers to import certain prescription drugs from Canada into the United States without drug manufacturers’ authorization or oversight, presenting significant safety risks.”
The only “safety risks” involved, in this context, is the safety of Big Pharmas multi-billion-dollar U.S. drug racket, which is the most exploitative in the world. Most other countries are able to access the same drugs that are sold here much more cheaply, and oftentimes over the counter as opposed to being prescription-only.
In February of this year, District Judge Timothy Kelly struck down PhRMA’s attempt to block cheaper medications for Americans.
Talarico, meanwhile, believes that if House Bill 25 gets signed into law in Texas, it will “put pressure” on the Brandon regime to “finally approve this.”
“I urge President [sic] Brandon to do the right thing here,” Talarico said. “Get this approved and start saving lives.”
More related news can be found at BigPharmaNews.com.
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