GOP Senators Press Obama on Prescription Drug Imports

Two top Republicans are urging the Obama administration to open up access to imported prescription drugs to prevent steep hikes in drug prices.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and John McCain (Ariz.) sent a letter on Monday asking Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to use her power under existing federal regulations to allow patients to directly purchase certain drugs, particularly those that have been subject to sharp price increases.

“Given the priority that voters place on addressing the high cost of prescription drugs, we believe that it is time Congress and the Administration work together to take concrete steps to address pricing abuses,” Grassley wrote in a statement.

The senators said the Obama administration should specifically allow patients to import drugs that have been subject to steep increases in cost – such as the pill from Turing Pharmaceutical that rose from $13.50 to $750 overnight.