Encouraging Americans to look for cheap Canadian imports could spur the growth of illegal online pharmacies

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have arrived at the same conclusion on at least one thing: A way for Americans to get the drugs they can’t afford is to buy them in Canada.

The response from outraged Canadians? Just say no.

“It’s crazy,” said Jacalyn Duffin, a medical historian and professor emerita at Queen’s University who doesn’t receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry. “[Trump] should be finding out why Americans have to pay more than Canadians to buy the same drugs from multinational companies.”

The Trump administration’s “safe importation action plan” published on Wednesday would authorize pilot projects from states, wholesalers and pharmacists to import versions of FDA-approved medicines from Canada. Three days earlier, Sanders, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential hopeful, had accompanied a group of American diabetes patients on a border hop to purchase insulin at a small pharmacy in Windsor, Canada, across the border from Detroit.

The U.S. government doesn’t directly regulate medicine prices, and drug companies can more or less set whatever price the market will bear. By contrast, in Canada, a federal tribunal sets a maximum price for patented drugs based on a comparison of prices in seven industrialized countries.

Continue reading on the LA Times.


get updates