Byron Dorgan worked on drug reimportation for 10 years. It would have saved consumers a minimum of $100 billion over ten years, and 4-5 times that if it had succeeded in bringing US pharmaceutical prices down. Dorgan had the magic “60 votes” for an amendment too, but that would have violated the secret PhRMA deal negotiated by the White House. And after all, as Tom Carper said, PhRMA paid for it with advertising.
Harry Reid kept the vote off the floor until PhRMA managed to whip the votes against it. Here’s part 1 of the video of Dorgan from the Senate floor on December 15, 2009, the day that Reid finally allowed the amendment to come to a vote:
SENATOR DORGAN: The amendment we are offering, a bipartisan amendment dealing with the price of prescription drugs, is a very important amendment. We are going to get our vote on that, but then there is also going to be a vote on a poison pill amendment that nullifies it. It says if you pass the second amendment, it means nothing happens and prescription drug prices keep going through the roof.