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Should Canada Ban Prescription Drug Exports?

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posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 01:10 AM
The question of importing Canadian drugs has come up in the US again. Many groups in Canada worry that this will affect our supply and pricing structure.

Because of domestic controls, pharmaceutical companies offer prescription drugs to Canadians at prices below those charged to Americans -- but they restrict the supply to what is needed in Canada. There is concern that bulk export of the cheaper drugs to the U.S. market will provoke the drug manufacturers to argue for an end to that pricing agreement.

The bill introduced in the Congress last Wednesday would allow pharmacies and wholesalers to import medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and would permit individuals to purchase drugs for their own use from Canadian pharmacies.

Mr. Clement has said previously that he is monitoring the situation but does not expect the changes south of the border to affect the Canadian drug supply.

Druggists calling for ban on exports to U.S.

I think the concerns are valid, but is this the way to go about it? It is illegal to fill prescriptions that weren't issued by a Canadian doctor and maybe enforcing the current laws would be a better place to start.

If pharmaceutical companies threaten to cancel our agreements, then I would support banning the exports. If we are exporting these drugs, then we are breaking our agreements with the pharmaceutical companies and they would be within their rights to call us on it.

I feel bad for Americans who can't afford their medication, but this is one of the advantages to our 'socialized' system and there is nothing preventing the US from negotiating their own agreements with pharma companies.

Note: I saw that the legislation had passed on the news but I can't find anything to that effect on the internet to link to.

posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 01:16 AM
The market is already changing pretty fast here. Wal-Mart and Target now sell many of the most used generic prescription drugs for $4 for a month's supply. I've already taken advantage of this buying something that would have cost me $150 at the local store for $4 at the Brooklyn Target...definitely worth the trip!

I think we are moving towards universal coverage here, but it's going to have a U.S. face to it, heavily relying on the private market rather than a top-down single payer system like Canada or the UK.

So I think the need for U.S. residents to import drugs or the ability of the drug companies to avoid deals to sell cheaper drugs in the U.S. is going to be coming to a close anyway.

[edit on 1/16/2007 by djohnsto77]

posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 01:25 AM
I saw that WalMart had started offering the generic drugs for a really great price, and that's great news for Americans on a limited income.

I think that the big concern is with the drugs that have not had their patents expire. I have no idea how many drugs are actually exported from Canada, so it may all be a tempest in a teapot.

The idea of having big pharmaceutical companies cancel our agreements is a scary thing. Pharmacare (govt) pays for most of your drugs after you spend a certain amount, so any additional costs would cut down on the money we have to spend on other healthcare costs.

If there is a changing market and this isn't a big concern, then why would there be a bi-partisan effort to pass this legislation? Optics?

posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 01:37 AM
I really doubt the pharmaceutical companies would cancel their agreements, they're still making money.

But in a new environment that may emerge where they can't rely on huge profits from U.S. sales, perhaps the price in other countries may eventually end up going up to support further research and a reasonable profit.


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