April 14, 2021

Fear of approval in the US of the importation of Canadian medicines

Canada said Wednesday that it will discuss with the US authorities the implications of the announcement by the Donald Trump Administration to allow the importation of Canadian drugs in fear of causing a shortage in the country.

The Minister of Health of Canada, Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, said in a statement that her Government is trying "to better understand the implications for Canadians and ensure that there are no adverse effects on the supply and cost of medicines in Canada."

The Secretary of Health of the United States, Alex Azar, announced today the launch of a system so that Americans can import low-cost medicines produced in Canada. At the moment, the importation of Canadian medicines is illegal.

The price of generic drugs produced in Canada may be a fraction of the cost of the same brand-name products in the United States, but large pharmaceutical companies have pressed for years to prevent the importation of Canadian drugs.

Azar said in a statement that "American patients have long been paying exorbitant prices for drugs that are available in other countries at lower prices."

Last week, a coalition of healthcare professionals, hospitals, pharmacists and patient rights organizations in Canada warned the country's Health Minister that exporting medicines to the United States can cause serious supply problems.

"Canada's drug supply system is not able to provide both Canadian and American consumers. Simply in Canada there is no supply, nor will it exist, to meet such demand," the coalition said in a letter sent to the authorities. Canadians

The coalition added that the Canadian system "is not equipped to respond to the needs of a country ten times the size of Canada without creating significant access or quality problems."

For years it has been customary to see groups of American consumers, many of them retired, who organize trips to Canada to buy medicines due to the impossibility of paying for the same product in the United States.

Over the past weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders accompanied a group of American diabetics who traveled to the border town of Windsor to acquire Canadian medications.

(tagsToTranslate) Fear (t) US (t) import (t) Canadian medicines (t)

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