Bull from the Bully Pulpit

  • by: |
  • 11/10/2005

According to a new GAO report to Congress, Americans import a “substantial and increasing” number of illegal prescription drugs, but efforts to stop the sales remain scattershot. Estimates given to Congress range from 2 million to 20 million packages a year. The “very limited” information prevents regulators from directing resources efficiently to prevent shipments of addictive substances or other medications that could be harmful, the report says.

Well, duh.

The GAO study was begun at the request of Senator Norm Coleman (R, MN.), chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Representative John D. Dingell (D, MI). Here’s what Mr. Dingell had to say, “While rogue websites continue to send their drugs into the U.S. with impunity, the agencies most responsible for stopping this chaos are completely out of ideas.”

I suppose that members of Congress (such as Rahm Emanuel, Dan Burton, Joanne Emerson, Byron Dorgan and Gil Gutnecht), governors (such as Tim Pawlenty, Rod Blagojevich and Jim Doyle), hack local politicians (like Tom Perez of Montgomery County, MD and David Catania of the DC City Council), and organizations (such as Families USA and the AARP) trumpeting the mantra of drug importation has nothing at all to do with the problem. Add to that zero additional budget dollars from Congress to deal with the problem and any surprise or righteous indignation is, well, just specious.

Folks, you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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