Drug importation from Canada received’t work – Healthcare Economist


I’ve talked about this in quite a few earlier posts, however giant scale importation from Canada received’t work to carry down US medicine costs. The US market is simply too giant and Canada doesn’t have the availability to satisfy US demand. Additional, insurance policies proposing drug importation from Canada assume that Canadians might be passive actors on this.

Effectively, Canadians are passive not.

Canada has banned mass exports of many pharmaceuticals. The textual content of the Canadian well being ministry’s order is right here and states:

An individual that holds an institution licence should not distribute a drug to a different particular person for consumption or use outdoors Canada until the particular person holding the licence has cheap grounds to imagine that the distribution is not going to trigger or exacerbate a scarcity of the drug.

Though the US is known as named explicitly as the one nation to which mass exporting may create a scarcity, clearly US insurance policies have been the motivation behind this order. Canadians already face shortages for some medicine earlier than any US importation would go into impact. NPR stories:

Between 10-15% of medication are in scarcity at any given time, and near half of all marketed medicine in Canada have been in scarcity a minimum of as soon as, based on Well being Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the state of affairs worse, as demand grows for sure medicines used to deal with coronavirus infections, the division stated. By late October, Canada had skilled 42 severe shortages, in comparison with about 10 shortages all through all of 2019.
In any case, the Canadian authorities thinks the brand new U.S. rule wouldn’t do a lot to cut back drug costs within the U.S., because the Canadian market is small and represents solely 2% of worldwide pharmaceutical gross sales.

In reality, one other research discovered that one quarter of pharmaceuticals in Canada already face quick provide. These embody shortages for medicines akin to EpiPens, opioid medicine, and coverings for Parkinson’s illness, schizophrenia, and melancholy.

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