Former President Barack Obama might have attempted to reign the insurance companies in with the Affordable Care Act, but the cost of prescription drug prices is getting harder and harder for Americans to burden. Despite his totally empty promises and big boy speeches about making prescription medications more affordable, President Donald Trump spared the drug industry itself, hence the reason why Big Pharma stocks soared following his address this week.
The solution is simple: Make it legal to import drugs from Canada. That’s something Vermont just did.
Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation Wednesday that made his state the first to legalize importing prescription drugs from Canada, which is something Trump’s insider cronies deeply oppose. Despite the fact that Democrats control Vermont’s Statehouse, its Republican governor was more than happy to sign the bill into law.
Democratic state Sen. Claire Ayer, a bill sponsor, said:
“Trump is trumpeting his desire to do something about high-cost drugs. I’m hoping that they’ll see it as an opportunity for him to say that he’s done something about high drug prices.”
Trump previously backed the idea of importing drugs from Canada, but his top aides are wall street insiders and naturally oppose it. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price may have been a big cheerleader for Big Pharma, but his replacement was actually once a top executive at Eli Lilly:
“The United States has the safest regulatory system in the world. The last thing we need is open borders for unsafe drugs in search of savings that cannot be safely achieved, Azar, a former top executive at pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, said. You can’t improve competition and choice in our drug markets with gimmicks like these — you have to boost competition and price transparency.”
The Vermont bill is apparently taking its cues from legislation drafted by the National Academy for State Health Policy, a nonpartisan group that has convened state officials to come up with ideas for addressing rising drug costs. Unlike many other states that have introduced similar legislation, Vermont actually got it done.
Let’s hope other states get their acts together and follow Vermont’s lead.
Featured image By TBIT via Pixabay/CC-0.