Jan 12, 2017

The U.S. won't import prescription drugs from Canada any time soon

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar's amendment allowing prescription drugs to be imported from Canada failed Wednesday night, with a vote of 46-52. But nearly a dozen members of each party broke with the other members of their party, making the issue surprisingly less about partisanship than individual members' views.

The idea behind importing drugs is it would create more competition on the market, driving down prices. But even if the amendment had passed, it was meaningless; it'd be attached to the budget resolution, which the president doesn't sign.

The takeaway: This was a test vote and shows how a similar bill would likely fare later, when it counts. But it also shows how weird the politics of prescription drug prices could get.

Go deeper