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U.S. bans import of Canadian meds by individuals

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill that would ban Americans from bringing safe, approved Canadian prescription drugs into the country.

H.R. 5651 — the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act of 2012 — was passed Wednesday by a vote of 387-5.

Among other things, it gives the FDA new authority to prevent drug shortages and speed reviews of medical devices. The bill also addresses the matter of drugs imported from abroad, including those deemed safe by Health Canada.

When the Senate debated the bill last week, former presidential candidate and senator from Arizona, John McCain, wanted an amendment that would allow individual Americans to bring in prescription drugs under certain conditions.

Amendment 2107, Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada, would have permitted the import of drugs that were: Purchased from a licensed pharmacist, from an approved pharmacy in Canada; purchased for personal use; issued by a doctor licensed to practice in the U.S.; and has the same specifications as a drug approved by the FDA.

His amendment was struck down 54-43.

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