Feed on

The outrageous cost of the two most effective drugs used in Medical Aid in Dying are at last being questioned by Senators and Congress reps in Washington.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader have questioned the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on its role in barriers faced by people seeking death with dignity, including prohibitively high costs and availability of medication prescribed by physicians.

In a letter to DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, the Oregon lawmakers asked for details on the agency’s process for approving applications to import medication used for death with dignity, or “medical aid in dying”, specifically the commonly prescribed and short-acting barbiturates pentobarbital and secobarbital.

Although approximately 20 percent of the United States population now lives in a state where medical aid in dying is legal, it remains difficult for people to access the medications prescribed by their physicians. The DEA has the authority to approve the importation of certain drugs, including pentobarbital and secobarbital, yet applications are currently languishing at the agency to import these medications and lower the cost of end of life decisions for people choosing death with dignity.

“People facing a terminal illness should be able to spend their remaining days with loved ones. They should not have to struggle to locate medicine that allows them to determine their end of life story, or worry about the financial impact on them and the loved ones they leave behind,” the lawmakers wrote.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.