Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Public Policy 

Prescription Drug Re-Importation: A Balanced Look

Lynne Ornes, PhD, RN; Thomas J. Hendrix, PhD, MSN, MSA, BSN

Abstract

As the debate about whether or not the government should allow the purchase of medications from foreign sources continues, nurses need to be informed so they may properly advise their clients.

ABSTRACT

The rising cost of prescription drugs has decreased access for some older adults to purchase needed medications. For this reason, some older adults are purchasing prescriptions from foreign and Internet mail-order sites. There are two main concerns related to drug re-importation—price and safety. Therefore, should the federal government allow the re-importation of prescription drugs with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safeguards? This article presents some of the facts about this issue including the history, chronology, and stakeholders for and against drug re-importation. Implications of drug re-importation to older adults, nurses, and public health policy are given.

Abstract

As the debate about whether or not the government should allow the purchase of medications from foreign sources continues, nurses need to be informed so they may properly advise their clients.

ABSTRACT

The rising cost of prescription drugs has decreased access for some older adults to purchase needed medications. For this reason, some older adults are purchasing prescriptions from foreign and Internet mail-order sites. There are two main concerns related to drug re-importation—price and safety. Therefore, should the federal government allow the re-importation of prescription drugs with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safeguards? This article presents some of the facts about this issue including the history, chronology, and stakeholders for and against drug re-importation. Implications of drug re-importation to older adults, nurses, and public health policy are given.

Authors

Dr. Ornes is Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah. Dr. Hendrix is Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, Anchorage, Alaska.

Address correspondence to Thomas J. Hendrix, PhD, MSN, MSA, BSN, Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508.

10.3928/00989134-20060801-04

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