Schweitzer Asks for Pilot Program for Canadian Drugs
On Thursday, Governor Brian Schweitzer asked U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to approve a "small pilot project to import lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada for Montana's State employee clinics."
The program would run for five years and be tested with the hopes of expanding it to "millions of American consumers."
This is not the first proposal by governor Schweitzer to lower the costs of prescription drugs in Montana. Over a decade ago, Schweitzer took a bus full of Montana's to Canada to buy lower priced prescriptions drugs. Since the original bus trip, Schweitzer has touted many plans to lower drug prices including putting all Montanans under Medicare part d and buying prescription drugs through the Veterans Administration.
Technically, Sebelius does have the power to permit the trial project under The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act. The act states that "The Secretary, after consultation with the United States Trade Representative and the Commissioner of Customs, shall promulgate regulations permitting pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States."