Proposals are afoot in the Vermont Legislature to allow the state to utilize personal importation to reduce its healthcare costs. Of course this proposal no sooner hit the floor of The Green Mountain State’s Senate than big pharma’s attack dog lobby group, PhRMA, jumped on it like a bone. PhRMA is repeating the mantra that it’s been saying for years, i.e. Canadian pharmaceuticals are unsafe and completely untrustworthy (even though they’re manufactured by PhRMA’s members). You can bet they are prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat this proposal. They will marshal their resources in Washington D.C. and Vermont to crush this idea. They will lobby the FDA and US Customs to prevent the State and taxpayers of Vermont from saving significant amounts of money.
PhRMA’s winning streak is long. They have left a big pile of bills, amendments, and regulations at federal, state and municipal levels in the trash heap; these pro-importation defeated by their work. Big pharma sees Vermonters and all Americans as captive customers they can squeeze to improve their profit margins. They are very jealous of their captive market and zealous to maintain their privileged position. If the State of Vermont wants to succeed this time it means bringing every ounce of will and determination it possesses to defeat pharma’s vested interests. Vermont is, after all, the state of Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders is famous for taking busloads of seniors across the border to buy cheaper pharmaceuticals in Canada.
Vermonters, like all Americans, are stuck in a morass that they didn’t create. Their government has given big pharma a privileged position. They can charge whatever price they like for prescription drugs, and not even the government is permitted to negotiate with them. And, officially, you cannot even look for price relief from outside the US. Now the US has never charged an individual for importing a personal supply of medication for their own use. But they come down like a ton of bricks on states, cities and counties who try to do the same thing!
Vermonters should support their politicians in this quest. They should inundate congress and tell them to tell the FDA and PhRMA to back off. It’s time Americans rose as a group against the vested interests and diamond chip lobbyists that force them to pay billions more for prescription drugs than they should.