health care

Do you support importing drugs from other countries?

Yes

Yes, supports

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“To create more competition for U.S. drug corporations, the Biden Plan will allow consumers to import prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe,” Biden's health-care plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. Booker is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. Buttigieg supports importing drugs from other countries, but “such importation must be done in a way that ensures safety and quality,” a campaign spokesman told The Post.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro supports importing drugs from other countries, he told The Post.

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Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. “We need to establish regulations to ensure safety, but I would support allowing imports from other nations like Canada, yes,” Delaney told The Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. “Allowing prescription drugs to be purchased and imported will lower drug prescription drug costs,” de Blasio told The Post.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is no longer running for president. She has co-sponsored a drug importation bill, an identical version to Sanders’s bill, introduced in the House in January.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand supports importing generic drugs. She is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. Inslee supports importing drugs from other countries, he told The Post.

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. O'Rourke supports importing drugs from other countries, according to his campaign.

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. Patrick supports importing drugs from other countries, his campaign told The Post.

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. Ryan supports importing drugs from other countries, his campaign told The Post.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. “Yes. My Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act with Rep. Elijah Cummings would allow Americans, wholesalers, and licensed U.S. pharmacies to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries,” Sanders told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “Yes, for those nations that have FDA-level of accountability,” Sestak told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

Steyer is no longer running for president. Steyer supports importing drugs from other countries, he told The Post.

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support importing drugs if they meet safety standards and the manufacturers can be held liable,” Swalwell told The Post.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. Warren told The Post she supports various drug pricing proposals, including the “importation of prescription drugs from other countries.” She is a co-sponsor of Sanders’s 2019 Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. “I would consider doing so if American companies were not able to provide drugs at fair prices to the American people,” Yang told The Post.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

On a case-by-case basis

On a case-by-case basis

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. “To lower drug costs, we should require the federal government to negotiate lower prices, just as other countries have done to reduce the costs of prescription drugs,” Bennet told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. "Rather than focusing on importing drugs from other countries, we need to get our pharmaceutical companies to charge Americans less for vital medicines. If these efforts are unsuccessful, moving toward a safe drug reimportation program would remain an option," Bullock told The Post.

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper supports importing drugs from other countries on a case-by-case basis, he told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. “I would like American workers, and American companies to receive their fair share of health care expenditures. However, when dramatic savings can be found by exploring options from other countries, I understand the benefit of exploring those options on a case-by-case basis,” Williamson told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg is no longer running for president. Bloomberg did not answer this question by publication.

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Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

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Seth Moulton
Moulton

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Background Some lawmakers have proposed allowing Americans to purchase medications from other countries as a way to lower consumer costs.

A February 2019 tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 80 percent of the public favors allowing Americans to buy imported drugs from Canada.

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various health-care policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.