The race for the 2016 Presidential election has been a heated one full of arguments, disagreements, and differing views on the best policies for the American people. Healthcare, as always, lies at the center of most discussions, and while each of the candidates’ positions on healthcare vary substantially in many regards, their views points on personal prescription importation, or PPI, are fortunately quite similar.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders has a long track record of supporting the importation of personal prescription drugs from Canada. In 1999, Sanders boarded a bus with fellow constituents and crossed the border into Canada to have their prescriptions filled.
More recently, he introduced a proposal allowing for the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the proposal, labeled Prescription Drug Affordability Act, S. 2023/H.R. 3513, would have saved Americans and the U.S. more than $1 billion each year.
Like Sanders, fellow Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has also recently introduced a proposal to lower the costs of prescription drugs. In addition to annual spending caps, Clinton is also in favor of importing personal prescription drugs from Canada or any other country with “similar safety standards.” Many of the prescription medications Americans already take are manufactured in countries with nearly identical standards to the FDA.
Donald Trump is known for stirring up controversy and has been attacked for his vague responses to questions regarding the implementation of his policies. However, the Republican Presidential Candidate is quite clear in his position on PPI. On his website, Trump openly states his pro-PPI position and his intention of removing the barriers of entry that currently exist, resulting in safer and cheaper prescription medications.
He may be down in the delegate count and a longshot for the party nomination, but Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz likely has a similar free market approach to the PPI question. Cruz has openly declared his belief in healthcare privatization, free trade, and other capitalistic principles. Thus, while he has not submitted or endorsed any personal prescription importation proposals, Cruz is also in the pro-PPI camp.
Based on the positions of each of the Presidential candidates on the issue of personal prescription importation, Americans should be able to enjoy cheaper prescription medications in the near future, regardless of the election outcome.