On February 24, a federal judge struck down the Maine Pharmacy Act, which had allowed Maine residents to buy and import prescription drugs from pharmacies outside of the United States. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torreson ruled that Maine’s law circumvented federal law, which prohibits Americans from importing drugs through foreign pharmacies. The ruling recognized that the federal government has sole jurisdiction to regulate drugs and their importation.
This ruling is a great victory. Although such drugs are often cheaper, they lack safety and efficacy controls of FDA-approved and inspected drugs. Importing foreign medications exposes American patients to dangerous counterfeits and hampers the development of new, lifesaving medicines. Maine’s ruling will likely deter other states from following Maine’s lead and implementing similar laws, which would have exposed additional Americans to unsafe medications. Read more about the ruling here.