Former mayor of New York, Rudy Guiliani, has weighed in to the drug re-importation issue and says the risks of bringing non-Food and Drug Administration drugs into the USA far outweigh its “alleged benefits.”

The comments come in a report commissioned by the Pharmaceutical and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and will likely add fuel to an already brightly-burning fire. A number of US states are currently endorsing or running drug importation schemes, and a bill proposed by North Dakota and Maine senators to permit drug re-importation has secured a hearing by US Congress [[27/01/05g]], saying: “We are determined to pass drug importation legislation in the Senate this year in order to put downward pressure on prescription drug prices. We believe that our bipartisan legislation systematically and thoroughly addresses all the safety issues that have been raised. It is unfair for the pharmaceutical industry to charge American consumers the highest prices in the world for prescription medicines.”

However, Mr Guiliani stresses: “Until safety and security needs can be resolved legislative action to our borders should be halted. We should not contemplate opening our borders to threats to our medicine supply when in all other aspects we are searching for ways to tighten the security of our borders.” According to the report, nearly 90% of the suspected drug parcels randomly examined by airport mail facilities contained non-FDA approved medicines from Pakistan, Brazil, the Netherlands and Canada.