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Time for action on prescription drugs

To the Journal editor:

It is time for congress, the administration, and Michigan to take real action to reduce prescription drug prices. The president over two years ago said drug companies are ripping us off.

The same drugs used in advanced nations around the globe cost about half of what they do in the U.S. Also, states have the option to pass laws to import drugs from Canada.

Numerous bills were introduced in both houses addressing this matter in the last session of congress and the parade of bills is on for this session also to: 1) Allow individuals with a prescription to import a 90 day supply of safe and lower priced drugs from Canada; 2) Have Medicare put its drug list out for bid, like the VA does, saving it billions of dollars; 3) Banning deals made by brand-name drug manufactures to delay lower cost generic drug introductions.

Many of these bills have companion bills in both houses and some have bi-partisan spport. Also both California and Florida are studying bills to allow drug imports from Canada.

One would think this is a no brainer but the legions of pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington, DC coupled with massive campaign contributions, to both parties, particularly to those at the throttle, has prevented significant progress with only minor bills ever getting out of the controlling committees.

Congress must act soon. So should the state of Michigan.

CHUCK AUSTIN

Presque Isle