The Honorable Senator Lisa Murkowski
United States Senate
510 L Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Dear Senator Murkowski,
I’m writing you today on behalf of the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police to reiterate our concern and opposition to any legislative proposals to allow the importation of unapproved foreign prescription drugs into the United States. We most recently wrote to you on this issue in March of this year when we became aware of Senator Sanders’ foreign importation amendment #3 to the pandemic preparedness bill (S.3799).
Given the already rising crime rates in our nation and the record levels of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, including counterfeit pills made with fentanyl that are already flooding across our borders, importation efforts would only serve to exacerbate these challenges. We urge you to continue to oppose any importation plans that come before you.
Foreign prescription drug importation will likely become another loophole for criminals to exploit, importing drugs that are substandard, adulterated, misbranded, and even counterfeit. If these drugs are not intercepted, they will become an interior enforcement issue for our state and local law enforcement, while simultaneously endangering patient safety. Furthermore, importation will become an unfunded mandate for law enforcement as no additional resources to federal, state, or local law enforcement to enforce against criminal actors are being provided.
In short, drug importation is an ill-conceived proposal that would increase crime, increase the availability of counterfeit drugs, exacerbate drug trafficking in our country, worsen the opioid and fentanyl crises, further burden law enforcement, create an unfunded mandate, and ultimately endanger the health and safety of all Americans.
We urge you to reject any importation proposals and to keep Americans safe from counterfeit drugs, especially when the focus of government activity needs to be to secure the border, combat drug trafficking and eliminate counterfeit pills that endanger our citizens.
We are not alone in our opposition. Law enforcement across the nation, including the National Sheriffs’ Association and Western State Sheriffs’ Association have all voiced their concerns and opposition.
I can be reached at AACOP@AACOP.ORG or feel free to call me at 907-488-6902 or visit our website at www.aacop.org.
Thank you for your time.
Chief Steve Dutra
President, Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police