Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2010


The author explores why our country has failed to devote the necessary resources to health care, and in particular prescription drug importation and reimportation, in an economic and legal context. He analyzes the unique market characteristics of the pharmaceutical industry, the framework of pharmaceutical drug regulation including prescription drug importation, and the regulatory structure of importation in general. Part II provides background on the health care industry and prescription drug markets in the U.S. and abroad. Part III examines legislative proposals for drug importation and reimportation and the controversial congressional reaction to rising prescription drug prices in the U.S. Part IV addresses counterarguments primarily put forth by pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), against drug importation and reimportation. Part V discusses a variety of laws and regulations pertaining to the cross border flow of goods, services, and people into the U.S. Part VI suggests methods of reform. Part VII concludes that, regardless of whether legalized importation is the answer, safety inadequacies in the regulation of imported drugs must be improved.