Tags: Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | trump | canada | drug | pricing

Canada, Big Pharma Resisting Trump Plan To Import Cheap Drugs

stocked pharmacy shelves
(Andreas Arnold/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

By    |   Sunday, 01 December 2019 08:20 AM

Resistance from Canada and U.S. pharmaceutical companies could put a crimp in President Donald Trump’s ambitious plan to import cheaper drugs from the nation’s neighbor to the north.

In a series of tweets Nov. 22, Trump promised a White House and Health and Human Service plan “soon,” and the Food and Drug Administration is set to release the proposal in January, The Hill reported.

But a spokesperson for Health Canada, the agency that runs the country’s health care system, told The Hill it’s still trying to “better understand” the implications of drug importation.

And foes of drug importation have loosed the purse strings to lobby against the plan, including the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which spent $6.2 million on lobbying in the third quarter, and drug companies like Amgen, Genentech, Bayer, Sanofi and Eli Lilly, The Hill reported.

“We believe that it's critical for policymakers in the U.S. to hear the perspectives of health care and law enforcement experts, as well as patient advocates from Canada regarding proposals to allow importation of certain medicines,” said Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, in a statement to The Hill.

The group commissioned a study by a University of Texas researcher that showed if 20 percent of U.S. prescriptions in 2015 were sourced from Canada, that country’s drug supply would be depleted in 183 days, The Hill reported.

Supporters of importation counter that U.S. proposals would only involve a small number of drugs.

Canada isn’t convinced.

Fifteen Canadian organizations, some which receive funding from drug companies, warned about drug importation in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Nov. 6.

“If people in the U.S. think there’s a problem with drug prices in the U.S., with all due respect, Canada didn’t create that problem. It’s a made in America problem that needs a made in America solution,” said John Adams, chair of the Best Medicines Coalition, one of the groups that signed the letter and receives funding from the pharmaceutical industry, The Hill reported.

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Resistance from Canada and U.S. pharmaceutical companies could put a crimp in President Donald Trump's ambitious plan to import cheaper drugs from the nation's neighbor to the north.In a series of tweets Nov. 22, Trump promised a White House and Health and Human Service...
trump, canada, drug, pricing
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2019-20-01
Sunday, 01 December 2019 08:20 AM
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