FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 29, 2017
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
Dr. Rand Paul to HHS Nominee: Convince Me You Have a Plan to Safely Reimport Drugs, or I Cannot Support Your Nomination
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During today’s U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) stated that he cannot support the nomination of Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services unless he can convince Dr. Paul that he is open to the idea of reimporting prescription drugs and can lay out a plan to do so safely.
“If you’re open to it, and not just say it’s unsafe, will say, ‘This is how I would do it, and this is how I would reimport drugs and make it safe,’ that’s an honest reform. If you can’t do that, I can’t support you,” said Dr. Paul. “So I hope you will come back with an answer that says, ‘This is how I would make reimportation safe.'”
Earlier in the exchange, Dr. Paul urged Azar to represent the American people over the interests of Big Pharma, saying, “Big Pharma manipulates the system to keep prices high. It is not capitalism, and it’s big government, and we’ve got to fix it.” He went on to add, “You need to convince those of us who are skeptical that you’ll be part of fixing it and won’t be beholden to Big Pharma.”
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump called for eliminating “barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products” as part of his seven-point health care plan, also declaring, “Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers,” a statement Dr. Paul highlighted during his remarks.
You can watch Dr. Paul’s exchange with HHS Secretary nominee Alex Azar below: