Oregon bill would import prescription drugs from Canada

Oregon bill would import prescription drugs from Canada
The idea is supported by the Oregon Coalition for Affordable prescriptions. Leaders and advocates met at the State Capitol Building in Salem on Monday to continue their work.

They were advocating for House Bill 4147, which would require the Oregon Health Authority to design a program for importing wholesale prescription drugs from Canada, where theyre generally cheaper.

They say it would put pressure on pharmaceutical companies to lower prices in the U.S.

HB 4147 did receive bipartisan support from lawmakers in the Oregon House and Senate, but it didnt get a hearing in this legislative session, so its essentially dead, for now. Still, advocates want to work on some kind of amendment to save it.

On Monday, two people at the state capitol spoke about their own struggles with the rising costs of prescription drugs.

$10,000 a month, Joan Morgan, of Happy Valley, said. I dont know anyone who can afford that. Thats a 40-percent increase for nothing.

You either pay the price, or you die, Melody Holiday, of Bend, said. Not a very good choice.

They say research shows the same drugs are hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars cheaper in other countries. Advocates say four other states have passed a re-importation bill like this. If its passed in Oregon, it would require federal approval. Advocates say that shouldnt be hard to get since the current administration is supportive of the idea.
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