Posted: Sep 1, 2012 5:09 PM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News
Updated: Sep 3, 2012 9:09 AM
HELENA- Gov. Brian Schweitzer toured the new state employee health clinic in Helena and announced he had written a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Health and Human services, asking for permission to ship prescription drugs from Canada.
Schweitzer states in his letter that Montanans paid an estimated $607 million for prescription drugs in 2009, and says the state is looking for more ways to help drive down the costs of health care for its citizens.
He asked that the secretary allow a five year pilot program for state of Montana employees.
"The secretary of Health and Human Services has the authority to grant a state the ability to re-import medicine from Canada and we're asking for that authority for these health care clinics so that we can further challenge the cost of health care, because somewhere between 15 to 20-percent of the cost of delivering health care will be prescription drugs," said Schweitzer.
Schweitzer believes that giving Americans the freedom to access cheaper drugs will force the pharmaceutical industry to adopt fair pricing for consumers.