Washington, D.C.– Dr. Tom Berger, Executive Director of Vietnam Veterans of America’s Veterans Health Council, released the following statement today, urging the Senate to prioritize passage of a strong Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) over drug importation:
“We are deeply disappointed in the introduction of an amendment that would allow for the importation of prescription medicines from overseas producers for whom the FDA has no jurisdiction. Framed as a cost-cutting measure, this could serve as a serious threat to our national security. It needlessly exposes millions of American patients, many of whom are veterans and family members of veterans, to medicines the U.S. simply cannot guarantee to be safe or effective. The introduction of this amendment into the vital reauthorization of PDUFA could only serve to slow down or stifle the passage of this important legislation.
“Given the range of chronic diseases still waiting for a cure--from cancer to dementia, HIV and Alzheimer’s--Americans should not have to wait to benefit from new and improved treatments. PDUFA helps ensure the breakthroughs that researchers are making in treating these chronic illnesses are expediently reviewed for safety and made available for the patients who need them as soon as possible.
“Just as veterans put aside their differences to fight for this nation, it is incumbent upon Congress to unite behind the health of its citizens and to ensure that this important legislation is not delayed by individual agendas. Congress owes it to the country--and to the millions of veterans who served in defense of our freedoms--to support the reauthorization of a clean, straightforward PDUFA.”
Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”