Senate to vote on imported prescription drugs

The Senate votes today on whether to allow lower-priced prescription drugs to be imported from Canada and more than 30 other countries.

Supporters note the medicines cost much less than they do in the United States, and believe the imports will help drive those prices down. Opponents warn the quality and safety of the drugs brought in from other countries cannot be guaranteed.

They'll try to defeat the measure by adding a requirement that the Food and Drug Administration must first certify that imported medicines are safe and effective. That is something that federal health officials have long said they cannot do.

The administration has pledged to recommend the president veto the bill if the drug re-importation provision survives.