Ask Your U.S. Representative to Support H.R. 380

As you may be aware, an important component of the National Retiree Legislative Network's 2007 Legislative Agenda is to gain Congressional passage of legislation for the importation of safe and lower priced prescription drugs. If our NRLN Grassroots Advocates will immediately send letters to the U.S. House of Representatives, we may be able to motivate Representatives to bring H.R. 380, the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act, to the House floor for debate and a vote.

Passage of H.R. 380 would be a major step forward. You may recall that in May, Senators Dorgan and Snowe were able to gain a drug importation amendment to Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill. However, Senator Cochran-with support from the pharmaceutical lobby-was able to get an amendment passed that prohibits importation of prescription drugs unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services can certify that the drugs are safe. The government has stated it cannot do this.

I know that some NRLN members are concerned whether imported prescription drugs would be safe. Representatives Emanuel and Emerson who are the champions for H.R. 380 believe there are sufficient safeguards in the bill to protect Americans. The legislation provides for prescription drug imports only from qualified suppliers in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Please email a letter immediately to your U.S. Representative to urge him/her to support H.R. 380. A sample letter for you to personalize and send is available on the NRLN Capwiz website at http://capwiz.com/abtr/home. Look for the Action Alert with the headline: ASK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT IMPORTS OF SAFE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. When you type in your zip code, the name of your Representative to receive the letter will be identified.

If you have a problem accessing the Action Alert, through the link above, go to the NRLN Website Home Page at http://www.nrln.org. In the "Take Action Now" paragraph near the top of the NRLN Home Page, click on the "Click Here" link to take you to the Action Alert.

Let's don't miss this opportunity to urge Representatives to take action. If H.R. 380 can be passed in the House, it would increase the pressure on the U.S. Senate to bring S. 242 to the Senate floor for debate and a vote. (Both of these bills can be read on the NRLN website at http://www.nrln.org/legislation-healthcare.htm.)

Jim Norby, NRLN President