S.R. NO.








urging congress and the president of the united states to allow prescription drugs to be imported from canada.



WHEREAS, the cost of prescription drugs is increasing exponentially, resulting in financial hardship for many families in Hawaii as well as across the rest of the United States; and

WHEREAS, seniors are particularly affected since most of them have fixed incomes and tend to have more health concerns which require the use of prescription drugs; and

WHEREAS, as many as 22 percent of seniors let prescriptions go unfilled and skip doses of medicines to make prescriptions last longer, potentially nullifying the effectiveness of the drugs; and

WHEREAS, prescription drug prices in the United States are higher than in any other country; and

WHEREAS, statistics show that the average cost per prescription for seniors rose by 48 percent between 1992 and 2000, and is expected to continue increasing another 72 percent by 2010; and

WHEREAS, nearly half of all seniors age 75 years and older live at only 200 percent of the poverty level, and 20 percent of seniors take at least five prescription medications per day; and

WHEREAS, although Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act in 2003 that provides some prescription drug benefits, seniors are still required to pay out-of-pocket costs that may result in financial hardship; and

WHEREAS, many families across the United States are seeking to purchase prescription drugs in Canada with a significant cost savings, despite the federal government's prohibition against the importation of drugs from Canada, and several cities have already begun to import Canadian drugs; and

WHEREAS, some individuals claim they have little choice--that they either buy Canadian drugs or none at all because of the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs in the United States; and

WHEREAS, consumers in Canada pay 30 percent to 50 percent less for the same drugs; and

WHEREAS, polls show that 68 percent of individuals favor legislation that would make it easier for people to buy prescription drugs from Canada, and when given arguments for and against such legislation, 63 percent of the public continues to express support for Canadian drug importation; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, that this body hereby urges Congress and the President of the United States to pass legislation to allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and Hawaii's Congressional Delegation.






Report Title:

Canadian Prescription Drug Importation