Commentary: Drug imports should be approved

The U.S. Senate took an important step to make prescription drugs more affordable by approving a measure that would permit buyers in the United States to order lower-cost drugs from Canada over the Internet.

An amendment by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apparently caught the prescription drug lobby by surprise during a floor debate late Thursday night. It was approved by 55-36 vote and added to a $42.9 billion bill funding Homeland Security.

With the cost of medicine consistently rising faster than inflation, and with this country's rapidly aging population, any measure that makes safe medicines more affordable for Americans is indeed welcome.

But don't fire up the computer yet. The amendment will surely face a fight before it gets through a conference committee, and the powerful drug lobby has successfully fought to keep earlier versions of this proposal from becoming law.

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