Americans pay too much for their prescription drugs, says the National Consumers League. As long as Americans have to pay high prices for their drugs they will continue buying cheaper medications from Canada, it said.

The National Consumers League told this to a federal task force which is examining whether it is possible to have safe imports.

The task force was told that imports will continue, regardless of whether it is illegal or not.

Alison Rein, National Consumers League, said 'The fact that busloads of Americans are crossing the border buying medications or going online to buy their medication is a clear sign that the public finds the price of prescription drugs is too high in the United States.'

Claims that American drugs are safer than Canadian ones were questioned by some in the consumer group. They pointed out that fake medicines exist in the USA as well. Package tampering and other problems also occur in the USA.

In fact, very few Americans who have gone over to Canada to get their medicines ever complain about the quality of their products. Minnesota Senior Federation?s head, Peter Wyckoff, said that his organisation organises bus trips to Canada. He says that the average tripper saves 49%.

The Federal Task Force, which has 13 members, consists of officials from the FDA, DEA and US Customs and Border Protection and some other agencies. There will be a total of six hearings.

The pharmaceutical industry says that prices are higher in the USA in order to offset price controls in other countries. They also say that new drugs cost a great deal of money. It costs about $800 million to create and develop a new drug, says the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.