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Plan to ask to import Canadian prescriptions OK-ed by panel

File photo. (Credit: Mark Lennihan, AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A plan for Utah to ask to import lower-cost prescriptions from Canada has passed its first legislative hurdle.

The Deseret News reports Republican Rep. Norm Thurston said Monday the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. forces some people to skip their drugs or spread them out, exposing them to health risks.

BioUtah President and CEO Kelvyn Cullimore says that while the goal is laudable, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a state importation program. He’s also raising questions about drug safety and how savings will be passed on to customers.

Thurston says there have been encouraging signs in Florida, and the FDA can ensure drug safety.

The bill was approved by a panel of lawmakers and now goes to the full House of Representatives.