It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

ECONOMY: Drug Importation from Canada and Abroad

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 07:33 PM
link   
Undoubtedly you have heard or even experienced the hefty prices charged for medicines in the United States. It has become a very large issue that has many facets. One of the proposed solutions to the problem has been to allow importation of drugs from Canada, where drugs are cheaper due to price controls. Let us examine this issue and where the party lines are drawn.

 


Why are Drugs Cheaper There?

In Canada and many European nations the governments enforce strict price controls on pharmaceuticals. These price controls are made possible because Canada and Europe piggyback off of American research which is funded by the drug costs that Americans pay. These high prices fund the research and development for not only Americans but Canadians and Europeans.

A study released by Bain & Co. in January 2004 outlines the dangers facing Europe for free-riding off American research. While on the surface it appears as if Europeans were saving money through cheaper drugs, behind the scenes they are losing thousands of jobs in the drug-research industry. Germany boasted drug savings in the amount of $19 billion over their American counterparts, but what they didnt say is at the same time they lost $22 billion in jobs.[1]

So one may beg the question will importing cheaper drugs break the American R&D sector. If so what new drug breakthroughs may be hampered?

Are drugs from Canada Safe?

The medications you purchase from you local pharmacy are FDA approved, which means the Federal Drug Administration is satisfied the drugs work and have approved of the facilities in which they are produced. Health Canada does the exact same thing in Canada. So if you walk into a drug store in Canada you can be assured you are buying Health Canada approved drugs, just not FDA approved but more than likely still safe.

A real problem however is the importation of drugs from third world countries into Canada specifically to be exported to the United States. These drugs are not subject to the scrutiny placed on drugs manufactured in other countries. According to a Prudential Research report this fears appear to be well warranted. The report found pharmaceutical exports to Canada from Bulgaria up 300%, Pakistan up 196%, Argentina up 114%, South Africa up 114% and Singapore up 101%.[2] Although these numbers are far from conclusive evidence it certainly opens up the possibility.

Enter the Politics

President Bush is adamantly opposed to Drug importation from Canada citing the safety risks. However his spokesman states Bush plans to deal with high drug costs in other ways.


Bush spokesman Steve Schmidt said the president secured through Congress the biggest improvement in senior health care since Medicare was established.


Presidential Candidate John Kerry is very much in support of allowing drug importation citing the financial benefits. In Nevada Kerry stated "George Bush stood right there and said: 'Nope, we're not going to help people to have lower cost drugs in America, we're going to help the big drug companies get a great big windfall,"[3]

Libertarian Candidate Michael Badnarik has not addressed the issue directly but for the most part opposes any governmental involvement in health care.[4]


Solution?

While a clear solution remains to be seen the situation is definitely heating up. Many states are petitioning the FDA for importation of Canadian drugs and Illinois has just begun the importation.[5] With the election right around the corner this will unquestionably be a battleground.


[1] www.bain.com...
[2] "Importation of Drugs into the U.S. Appears Difficult to Stop," Prudential Financial Equity Research Report, October 8, 2003.
[3] cnews.canoe.ca...
[4] ontheissues.org...
[5] www.keloland.com...,34044


[edit on 17-8-2004 by BlackJackal]




posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 08:00 PM
link   
Well speaking as a Canadian who needs and constantly uses public Health Care, I believe that the benefit of having a completely deregulated Health Care system fall well short when you consider the Human cost. What's the Human cost? Well about 41.2 million people roughly 15% of the whole USA! Freedom and self-determination is all well and good but the Libertarians go way too far when they talk about cutting programs like Medicade.


Above statistics are from 2001 Source: www.mindfully.org...

Those stats are 3 years old. What are the most recent stats(that I have found) now? Here they are. Cold, hard and to the point.



Quote Source: content.health.msn.com...
June 16, 2004 -- Nearly 82 million nonelderly Americans -- a third of those under the age of 65 -- went without health insurance for some period of time in 2002 or 2003, according to a report released by the consumer health group Families USA.

An estimated 44 million Americans lacked any type of health coverage for the entire year in 2003, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. This represents a 15% increase over 2001.

Of the 82 million nonelderly Americans that lacked health insurance coverage at some time between 2002 and 2003, two-thirds were uninsured for six months or longer, while more than half were uninsured for more than nine months.

"This problem is no longer simply an altruistic issue affecting the poor but a matter of self-interest for almost everyone," Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, tells reporters.


Well I believe the stats say it all in my opinion. Universal Health Care may be much more costly, it leads to a generally more happy populace. The Libertarians view on the Health of the nation is not a good one, and there are better ways so people do not suffer because of greedy insurance companies.


Quote Source: www.bizjournals.com...

Weiss: Insurers record $14.8B profit increase

Profits at the nation's life and health insurers jumped $14.8 billion, or by more than five times, to $18.1 billion in the first nine months of 2003, the best third-quarter increase in a decade, Weiss Ratings said.

The Jupiter-based financial analysis firm said driving the industry's steep profit growth, the change in reserves fell to $101.5 billion for the first three quarters of 2003, an $11.8 billion decline compared with the $113.3 billion change in reserves reported for the same period in 2002.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 08:40 PM
link   
Am I missing something here?
Is the United States trying to be my Big Brother and save me from shady internet web sites selling third world drugs through Canada? If so, they can find better thing to do.
There's a few Canadian internet drug sites, no different from drugstore.com IMHO. If a consumer can't find them shame on them....it's not hard to find reputable sites, really.

Or, is the US, FDA and drug companies and their lobbyists trying to keep American citizens from saving money.
I have a small, partial solution for cheaper drugs:
stop advertising--and pushing---drugs on television and print media.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 08:58 PM
link   


stop advertising--and pushing---drugs on television and print media.


This is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while. But will the Gov't actually step in and tell their campaign contributers that they cannot advertise on TV, Internet, Radio,Magazines and Newspapers anymore? I highly doubt it will happen no matter who wins in November.

Now as for the Drug importation from third world countries is concerned, I support it as long as they are tested and branded as safe for consumption.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 09:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by sardion2000Now as for the Drug importation from third world countries is concerned, I support it as long as they are tested and branded as safe for consumption.


This is Canada, the gov't has it's fingers all over it. You can't eat a meal without the gov't having some sort of influence over it.



posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 05:22 PM
link   

sardion2000: The Libertarians view on the Health of the nation is not a good one, and there are better ways so people do not suffer because of greedy insurance companies.


sardion2000: Freedom and self-determination is all well and good but the Libertarians go way too far when they talk about cutting programs like Medicade.

People don't suffer because of insurance companies, they suffer because of the extreme government regulations that greatly drive up the cost of health care. Dr. Mary Ruwart estimates getting the government out of health care would drive costs down 80%! Forcing costs down would lower the price of insurance making it more affordable for everyone. In most instances, health care could be provided without worry of HMO or insurance simply by paying the much lower fee out of pocket.


Rep. Ron Paul of Texas says: For decades, the U.S. healthcare system was the envy of the entire world. Not coincidentally, there was far less government involvement in medicine during this time. America had the finest doctors and hospitals, patients enjoyed high quality, affordable medical care, and thousands of private charities provided health services for the poor. Doctors focused on treating patients, without the red tape and threat of lawsuits that plague the profession today. Most Americans paid cash for basic services, and had insurance only for major illnesses and accidents. This meant both doctors and patients had an incentive to keep costs down, as the patient was directly responsible for payment, rather than an HMO or government program.


Ron Paul is a former Libertarian Party Presidential candidate and a doctor that graduated from the Duke School of Medicine.

Libertarian Position on Canadian drugs: This is a free trade issue. Libertarians wouldn't inhibit free trade.

While I'm sure that a lot of Canadians are perfectly happy with their health care, it seems many are disenchanted: "A growing number of Canadians are giving the country's health-care system a mediocre or failing grade, a report card by the organization representing Canada's doctors suggests."

The Heartland Institute says: Prince Edward Island Premier Pat Binns warned, 'our current system is not sustainable, the principles of the Canada Health Act are at risk, and health care as we know it will not survive the end of the decade.'"

Privatizing health care is a good idea. It takes government red tape out of the equation, drives down costs, and a private company is infinitely more accountable then the government.

Edited to fix quote.
[edit on (8/19/0404 by PistolPete]

[edit on (8/20/0404 by PistolPete]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 06:00 PM
link   

quote: BlackJackal: The Libertarians view on the Health of the nation is not a good one, and there are better ways so people do not suffer because of greedy insurance companies.


This was not my quote



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 06:20 PM
link   
The bottom line IMHO is this: If the drugs can be proven safe, then we should accept imports. let the market determine the price. However, the question raised about 3rd world imports comming into the Canadian Market and then being imported here also needs to be addressed. On the surface it seems like a good idea, but the first person that dies because of a deregulated drug will no doubt sue the government. Also, how do you expect the drug companies that have to spend a fortune going through the FDA's drug approval process, only to be undercut by a Canadian drug? As one poster put it, how often have we given Europe a "free ride" on our approval process? Before we blindly open our medicine cabinets to imported drugs, we need to reform the entire system. No doubt we can save money there too.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 09:04 PM
link   

This was not my quote


Sorry about that, I was in kind of a hurry.



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 08:17 AM
link   
As always, we have to look to find the real concern for this Administration buried within the newspeak thats time released to saturate the 24 hour news cycle.
Why has President Bush adamantly opposed drug importation from Canada? The newspeak is that the FDA is not getting a touch, ergo, the drugs are ingested time bombs, right? Do we have Canadian mortality statistics to support that? Of course not, there are none. So whats the cause for the stand? Well, lets take a snap shot of the LEAD DOG of the pharma lobby, Eli Lilly, a major Republican donor. During the 2002 election cycle, the company gave more money to political candidates, $1.6 million, than any other pharmaceutical company, with 79 percent of it going to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group that monitors campaign finances.
Added to this largesse, is an incestuous relationship between the company & the Bush clan. The first president Bush sat on the Lilly board in the late 1970's. The White House budget director, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., is a former Lilly executive. The company's chairman and chief executive, Sidney Taurel, was appointed in June by President Bush to serve on a presidential council that will advise Mr. Bush on domestic security.
What result of this highly suspect purchasing of influence? Republicans showed again that they are the tools of corporate lobbyists & special interests by adding nearly 500 pages of new provisions to the 32 page Homeland Security Bill. A key provision? To provide liability protection for manufacturers of thimerosal, a mercury-based additive to vaccines that has proven to be linked to autism in children. Its principal beneficiary would be the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which developed thimerosal.

Sen. Kerry would allow importation of drugs from Canada, which does have a version of the FDA as a safeguard over whats manufactured there & world imports. Its a smart move void of the incestuous lobby considerations. But I think the bigger problem needs a holistic approach: the US is the most MEDICATED COUNTRY ON THE PLANET. You cant get good wood? Take a pill? Your kid fidgets in class on a beautiful spring day? Take a pill. You have a yellow toenail? Take a pill. The doctors are sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies who are in bed with the insurance companies. Add a crony government like we have now, and you have the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!!
This dug importation question is just a symptom of the real malaise above.
Collusion is the modern day monopoly that escapes our radar and needs busting up, with the aforementioned industries exerting inordinate power over our lives in the most absolute terms: via our pocketbooks, by what we must pay to be insured to be treated to be medicated for an illness. AND, our very lives themselves to seek repair for malpractice of drug or operation.

Who Aided Drug Makers?

GOP uses Homeland Security Bill to pay off Donors



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 08:48 AM
link   

Originally posted by Bout Time
But I think the bigger problem needs a holistic approach: the US is the most MEDICATED COUNTRY ON THE PLANET. You cant get good wood? Take a pill? Your kid fidgets in class on a beautiful spring day? Take a pill. You have a yellow toenail? Take a pill. The doctors are sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies who are in bed with the insurance companies. ...

You might want to add the media and the ad agencies who also profit from the ads from all the drugs advertised and advertised in TV, radio and print media.
They certainly are part of the problem.



posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:49 AM
link   
But the media has been complicit for some time now - we're looking at conversations about a man's volunteer service to a war, while ignoring as taboo subject the several DWI's and coc aine usage of a president up and into his 30's.
The Afgan campaign is a failure....but when was the last time that made the news cycle?



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join