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Statement of HDMA President and CEO John M. Gray on the Importation of Prescription Drugs
Date:12/9/2009

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John M. Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), issued the following statement in reaction to Senate Amendment 2793 to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which would allow for importation of prescription medications:

"Importation of prescription drugs from foreign countries, as Senator Dorgan and others propose to allow, would compromise the secure U.S. distribution system by increasing the likelihood of entry for counterfeit or adulterated medicines. Efforts to sell counterfeit or adulterated medications produced overseas have become far more sophisticated in just the past few years. Rather than exposing U.S. patients to such risks, Congress should enhance the safety and security of the domestic supply chain through enactment of a uniform federal pedigree standard.

"We are very concerned about provisions in the legislation which call for implementation of a track-and-trace system by 2012. While this effort to address patient safety is well-intentioned, it is not aligned with industry capabilities, technological developments, or federal guidance on product serialization. States that have looked at track-and-trace issues in depth understand the complexity of such an undertaking. That is why the most aggressive time horizons established by states for track-and-trace implementation begin in 2015.

"HDMA and its members support the enhancement of pharmaceutical supply chain security through establishment of a uniform federal pedigree standard. This would facilitate the flow of prescription medicines between states and enable manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, regulators and law enforcement to identify and prevent the entry of illicit products into our drug supply.

"Before opening our borders, a realistic, comprehensive approach is needed to counter these threats, facilitate
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SOURCE Healthcare Distribution Management Association
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