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Senate on drug imports

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The full Senate has voted to allow prescription drug importation through the passage of an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The amendment, proposed by Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), prevents funds from being used by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection to prevent individuals from importing prescription drugs from Canada for personal use. The measure passed 68 to 32 on July 11. The original version of the amendment did not include any restrictions on country of origin. However, during floor debate, Vitter added the limitation that only drugs imported from Canada be allowed. An importation provision could survive the eventual conference committee; the House appropriations bill also included a section that would allow for importation. A Senate Health Committee spokesperson said he expects Chairman Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) to oppose an importation provision in conference. The Senate is expected to pass the Homeland Security bill this week...

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