David Randolph Smith

Ending Senator Frist's Misguided Ban on Importing Canadian Drugs

3/4/05: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday said that the Senate this summer likely will pass a bill to allow the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, the Detroit Free Press reports. According to Grassley, opposing Republican lawmakers will not have the ability to block such legislation this year because of increased public support for reimportation (Detroit Free Press, 3/4). Grassley said, "It'll pass 75-25." He added, "A year ago, the leadership could hold it up because it was toward the tail end of the session. They can't hold this up for two years, so we will have importation of drugs before this 12 months is out" (CongressDaily, 3/4). Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) oppose such legislation over concerns that the federal government currently cannot guarantee the safety of reimported medications (Detroit Free Press, 3/4). Grassley and Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) are co-sponsors of a reimportation bill (S 334) introduced last month (CongressDaily, 3/4)