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Senate Vote Upholds Drug Import Limits

WASHINGTON, May 7 – The Senate voted on Monday to preserve current restrictions on the importing of lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, fearing that such imports could pose risks to consumers, even with new safeguards.

By a vote of 49 to 40, the Senate approved a measure saying that imports will not be allowed unless the secretary of health and human services first certifies that they “pose no additional risk to the public’s health and safety,” and that they will significantly reduce costs to consumers.

Consumer advocates have long favored such imports as a way to make medicines more affordable. But health officials in the Clinton and Bush administrations have blocked such efforts, saying they cannot guarantee the safety of imported medicines.</em>


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