Three states — Vermont, Florida, and Colorado — recently passed laws that legalize the importation of prescription drugs. Other states are considering similar legislation. Legislators in those states believe that drugs can be safely sourced from Canada at costs lower than U.S. prices.
These new state laws conflict with and undermine our country’s in-progress national legislative and regulatory system for tracking and tracing drugs. This system was established six years ago to stop counterfeit drugs from entering the U.S. supply chain. We estimate that manufacturers, wholesalers, and pharmacies will ultimately spend billions to build this system, which is scheduled to be fully operational by 2023.