Opportunities for input on prescription drug importation

Jan 23, 2020

In November 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a proposed rule laying out a process to design a program  for the wholesale importation of prescription drugs from Canada, as required by legislation passed in the first legislative session.

After Maine DHHS's proposed rule was released, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its own proposed rule to allow the kind of program Maine is developing to be approved by the federal government. That federal proposed rule is now open for public comment and will be finalized sometime after the comment period concludes on March 5, 2020.

In the meantime, Maine DHHS continues to make progress toward designing a program to facilitate the importation of Canadian drugs for Maine consumers. After receiving and reviewing public comments, the Department has provisionally adopted the  rule as it was proposed. The Legislature will now review the rule.

As the rule continues to move through the regulatory process, DHHS is convening a series of meetings to engage stakeholders in a conversation about the details of the program's design. During the meetings, the Department will present information about the program's operation and provide an opportunity for structured feedback about major decision points. Topics of discussion will include:

  • What infrastructure is needed for the importation of drugs under the program
  • How consumers will access imported drugs
  • Which drugs will be included in the program
  • How to meet monitoring, evaluation, and regulatory requirements

Meetings will be held in the Maine A&B conference room at the DHHS office building at 109 Capitol Street in Augusta:

  • Tuesday, February 4 - 2:00-4:30
  • Tuesday, February 18 - 1:00-3:30
  • Monday, March 2 - 12:00-2:30
  • Monday, March 16 - 1:00-3:30

Meetings are open to the public, but to assist with preparation and facilitation, the Department asks interested participants to register in advance. Registered participants will also receive conference line information for all meetings, for those unable to join in person.