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Trending News Today: States Continue to See Prescription Drug Importation from Canada

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Published Online: Feb 19,2018
Laurie Toich, Associate Editor
GOP lawmakers in Utah are pushing to contract with wholesalers in Canada to import less costly prescription drugs, according to Kaiser Health News. Several other states are also seeking to launch their own programs to obtain cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. Kaiser reported that many Americans currently travel to Canadian pharmacies or purchase drugs from American businesses that obtain drugs from abroad; however, this practice is illegal. 

Last week, Republican negotiators met to discuss solutions to bridge a gap between separate bills under deliberation in the House and Senate to stabilize the Affordable Care Act, The Hill reported. The lawmakers talked about stability measures that will likely be included in a long-term funding bill that is due in March. Although both bills have several similarities, the differences in funding levels provided for stabilization have to be resolved, according to the article.

New Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pushed back against criticism over the recent budget request saying that the proposal would lower the list price of prescription drugs, according to STAT. During a budget hearing, Azar told a senate panel that 2 proposals centered around Medicare’s prescription drug benefit will reduce drug costs. One of the proposals would have insurers take responsibility for the cost of prescription drugs rather than the government and the other encourages insurers to push generic drugs, according to the article.