As I have pointed out before, the one health care position John McCain and Barack Obama have in common is their wrong-headed support of prescription drug reimportation. It appears, however, that both candidates may be waking up:

Barack Obama and John McCain are reviewing their support for allowing individuals to import cheaper prescription drugs in light of tainted medicines and other goods made in other countries, their advisers said on Thursday.

Unfortunately, the myriad economic and safety issues that militate against reimportation have still not quite convinced them that they were just wrong on this issue:

Neither adviser said their candidate had abandoned reimportation, but had realized it would be more difficult.

One must, I suppose, make allowances for the fact that these guys are politicians. Presumably they will eventually decide to deep six this exceptionally dumb idea.

Comments 6

  1. SmartDoc wrote:

    Can’t wait for all those high quality generics from China.

    What could go wrong?

    Posted 21 Sep 2008 at 5:45 pm
  2. Matt Horn wrote:

    Shhh Doc. Don’t burst their bubble.

    Posted 22 Sep 2008 at 3:17 pm
  3. Marc B. wrote:

    And don’t touch those Canadian tablets – they’re contaminated with moose do do.


    Posted 22 Sep 2008 at 3:44 pm
  4. Matt Horn wrote:

    Yep, it is silly to think that the Chinese would modify a product with little mind to the consequences. Yes, and sorry for forgetting that Canada was exactally the same as China with regards to consumer safety. My bad.


    Posted 22 Sep 2008 at 4:23 pm
  5. Marc Brown wrote:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t reimportation mean buying in drugs that were made in the US, or at least by the facilities of US firms abroad?

    Posted 23 Sep 2008 at 6:51 am
  6. Matt Horn wrote:

    Yep, I believe that Fisher -Price is a US firm as well.

    If you want to go with the pure reimportation argument, why would it be wise to allow reimportation from a country that subsidizes the original importation costs or from a country that caps R&D costs for a manufacturer. Basically, we incur multiples on costs from day one and those would only be compounded in a reimportation environment. There are reforms needed in the pharma industry, but this issue clouds the areas that need reform and keep us from taking action in those areas.

    Posted 23 Sep 2008 at 9:52 am

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