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The Boston Globe reports that the inevitable is happening – the debate about the propriety of importing low-cost prescription drugs from other nations into the US is becoming an issue in the 2004 Presidential campaign between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

Targeting the Bush administration’s support of drug companies and policy of fighting against reimportation, Democrats are running television commercials in 17 so-called “swing states” accusing the administration of being in league with major corporations and forcing higher drug costs on US citizens. The argument is given a certain currency by the fact that numerous cities, counties and states are making efforts to import drugs from outside the US, despite opposition by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in order to close their own budget gaps.

The political power of the argument perhaps can best be seen by the fact that the Bush administration seems to be backing off its position. The Globe reports, “Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson predicted at a news conference that Congress would pass a bill legalizing prescription imports this year. Asked if he would urge Bush to veto such a bill, Thompson said he would not.”
KC's View:
We’ve been predicting this all along – that political realities would eventually impose themselves on this issue. The problem is that either these drugs are safe or not – and shaping the issue to presidential politics doesn’t seem right.