2003 Senate Resolution 31
Relating to: strongly urging Congress and the administration to address the significant price disparity in the international trade of brand-name prescription drugs by creating a safe and legitimate program for prescription drug importation or through negotiated trade agreements with other industrialized nations.
Whereas, the practice of medicine has undergone a shift toward utilization of outpatient prescription medications for patients who in previous years would have been hospitalized, and, therefore, prescription drug spending is increasing over that period; and
Whereas, prescription drug spending in the United States is increasing by up to 12 percent each year and accounts for approximately 11 percent of all health care spending, exceeding $200 billion in outpatient prescription drugs in 2003; and
Whereas, Americans pay drug prices that are 30 to 300 percent higher than that paid for the same drugs in Europe and other industrialized nations, and Canadian drug prices average 68 percent less than American prices; and
Whereas, the United States provides the world's greatest financial support for discovery of new medicines through research grants; and
Whereas, individuals who pay high prices for prescription drugs may leave their prescriptions unfilled, thereby compromising their health and leading to more costly medical intervention; and
Whereas, many consumers are seeking less expensive prescription drugs by importing them from other countries; and
Whereas, the importation of prescription drugs by U.S. businesses and consumers is illegal and potentially unsafe because such practice occurs outside all state and federal regulations governing manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of prescription medicines in this country; and
Whereas, the effect of prescription drugs becomes questionable when the high cost prevents consumers from obtaining needed drugs or they are forced to use less than prescribed; and
Whereas, all U.S. health care consumers must be assured of a safe and secure system of prescription drug distribution; and
Whereas, licensed and regulated local professionals must remain a critical part of our drug distribution infrastructure; and
Whereas, all purchasers of prescription drugs, including individual consumers, managed care organizations, insurers, and employers, would benefit from a reduction in the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S.; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, That the Wisconsin senate petitions Congress and the administration to implement a system to allow licensed U.S. pharmacies and distributors to participate in the importation of medications from pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers licensed and regulated in a manner deemed comparable to the United States, enabling Wisconsin consumers to access lower-cost drugs while obtaining medicines from local providers; and, be it further
Resolved, That the Wisconsin senate urges Congress and the Administration to develop long-term solutions to bring down the price of prescription medications so people are not forced to make alternative prescription drug choices; and, be it further
Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this resolution to the president of the United States, the secretary of the U.S. department of health and human services, the secretary of the Wisconsin department of health and family services, and to all members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation.