Both brand-name and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers lined up against legal importation of cheaper prescription drugs in testimony before a government task force yesterday, warning of counterfeits, the high cost of ensuring safety and undercutting American drug makers. Opening the U.S. border to cheaper imports would allow criminals to bring in more counterfeit drugs, one major manufacturer testified, while generic drug makers said importing cheaper medicines from outside the U.S. would discourage the development of lower-priced copies of major drugs for sale within the nation. Supporters of importation argue legislation can be passed to ensure imported drugs are safe.

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