Classic Ron Paul: Let’s Have Free Trade in Pharmaceuticals

At his hearing of the Senate Health, Education, and Labor (HELP) Committee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Paul told Health and Human Services Nominee Alex Azar that he could not support his nomination unless he presented a plan to allow importation of prescriptive drugs, as detailed in the following press release:

Dr. Rand Paul to HHS Nominee: Convince Me You Have a Plan to Safely Reimport Drugs, or I Cannot Support Your Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During today’s U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) stated that he cannot support the nomination of Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services unless he can convince Dr. Paul that he is open to the idea of reimporting prescription drugs and can lay out a plan to do so safely.

“If you’re open to it, and not just say it’s unsafe, will say, ‘This is how I would do it, and this is how I would reimport drugs and make it safe,’ that’s an honest reform. If you can’t do that, I can’t support you,” said Dr. Paul. “So I hope you will come back with an answer that says, ‘This is how I would make reimportation safe.’”

Earlier in the exchange, Dr. Paul urged Azar to represent the American people over the interests of Big Pharma, saying, “Big Pharma manipulates the system to keep prices high. It is not capitalism, and it’s big government, and we’ve got to fix it.” He went on to add, “You need to convince those of us who are skeptical that you’ll be part of fixing it and won’t be beholden to Big Pharma.”

In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump called for eliminating “barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products” as part of his seven-point health care plan, also declaring, “Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers,” a statement Dr. Paul highlighted during his remarks.

Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul championed free-trade in pharmaceuticals and introduced legislation, the Perspiration Drug Affordability Act, that would have allowed Americans to purchase affordable pharmaceuticals from overseas.

Here and below is his official statement on the bill:



                               of texas

                   in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 5, 2011

 Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Prescription Drug

Affordability Act. This legislation ensures that millions of Americans,

including seniors, have access to affordable pharmaceutical products.

My act removes needless government barriers to importing

pharmaceuticals and it protects Internet pharmacies, which are making

affordable prescription drugs available to millions of Americans, from

being strangled by federal regulation.

The Prescription Drug Affordability Act brings competition to the

market for pharmaceutical products by allowing anyone wishing to import

a drug to simply submit an application to the FDA, which then must

approve the drug unless the FDA finds the drug is either not approved

for use in the U.S. or is adulterated or misbranded. This process will

make safe and affordable imported medicines affordable to millions of

Americans. Mr. Speaker, letting the free market work is the best means

of lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

I need not remind my colleagues that many Americans impacted by the

high costs of prescription medicine have demanded Congress reduce the

barriers which prevent American consumers from purchasing imported

pharmaceuticals. Congress has responded to these demands by repeatedly

passing legislation liberalizing the rules governing the importation of

pharmaceuticals. However, implementation of this provision has been

blocked by the federal bureaucracy. It is time Congress stood up for

the American consumer and removed all unnecessary regulations on

importing pharmaceuticals.

The Prescription Drug Affordability Act also protects consumers'

access to affordable medicine by forbidding the federal government from

regulating any Internet sales of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals by State-

licensed pharmacists.

As I am sure my colleagues are aware, the Internet makes

pharmaceuticals and other products more affordable and accessible for

millions of Americans. However, the federal government has threatened

to destroy this option by imposing unnecessary and unconstitutional

regulations on Web sites that sell pharmaceuticals. Any federal

regulations would inevitably drive up prices of pharmaceuticals, thus

depriving many consumers of access to affordable prescription


 In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to make

pharmaceuticals more affordable and accessible by removing barriers to

the importation of pharmaceuticals and protecting legitimate Internet

pharmacies from needless regulation by cosponsoring the Prescription

Drug Affordability Act.

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