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Sens. Amy Klobuchar, John McCain introduce legislation to make importing Canadian pharmaceuticals easier

Posted by: Allison Sherry under Morning Hot Dish newsletter, Minnesota U.S. senators Updated: July 8, 2014 - 9:33 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sens. Amy Klobuchar and John McCain introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow people to import personal pharmaceutical drugs from Canada.

The Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act allows individuals to import cheaper drugs in the same dosage, form and potency as drugs in the United States. Americans spent an average of almost $1,000 per person per year on prescription drugs -- roughly 40 percent more than the next highest country.

"In Minnesota, we know that Canadians often pay much less for their prescription drugs, but current law prevents Americans from importing these cheapar alternatives and benefitting from these savings," Klobuchar said, in a written statement. "This bipartisan bill would ... inject new competition into the U.S. pharmaceutical market."

The likelihood of a big bill like this to pass the chamber at this late stage -- the Senate has just a little more than three working weeks ahead of the August recess -- is slim, though Klobuchar staffers said Tuesday they hoped to get something through in the lame duck session after the November election.

"This is a commonsense, bipartisan bill that would mean real savings for families and that's why Sen. McCain and I are going to continue to push to get this done," she said, in a statement. 

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