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1st-in-nation drug import bill signed

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Republican Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill that would set up a first-in-the-nation system to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Scott said Wednesday he signed the bill because it may reduce costs for Vermonters, although he added he was not sure what the program’s outcome would be.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services still needs to certify the program.

The bill received strong support in the Legislature.

The National Academy for State Health Policy says Vermont is the first state in the nation to approve the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, where they cost an average of 30 percent less than in the United States.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America argued the proposals would threaten people’s health because quality could not be assured.

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