ASOP Canada and 14 Canadian Health Stakeholders Urge Prime Minister Trudeau, Health Canada to Protect Canadian Patients as U.S. Drug Importation Plans Accelerate
TORONTO – November 7, 2019 – The Canadian chapter of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Canada), along with 14 other Canadian organizations issued a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express serious concern regarding U.S. drug importation plans. The organizations, representing patients, health professionals, hospitals, hospital and community pharmacies and distributors, fear the impact of U.S. state and federal legislation permitting the importation of Health Canada-approved medicines to the United States will adversely affect public health in Canada.
The letter, following up on previous efforts including a letter to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor in July 2019 and subsequent meetings, reaffirms the group’s urgent request for clarity on how the government will protect the Canadian drug supply prevent drug shortages in the wake of drug importation legislation.
“Canada does not have the drug supply to meet U.S. demand. This past election, 200 drug shortages were reported, with about 5 new shortages reported each day,” said Joelle Walker, Vice President, Public Affairs with the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Chair of ASOP Canada’s Steering Committee. “We continue to urge the Prime Minister and his government to take immediate action to address these concerns and to work us to protect Canadians and our drug supply.”
As drug shortages intensify, ASOP Canada fears that importing Health Canada-approved medication to U.S. will potentially drive Canadian patients to look for medicine through unconventional sources, like unlicensed, illegal internet pharmacies that often distribute counterfeit, substandard or unapproved drugs.
“Importing drugs from Canada is a risk for both Canadian and U.S. consumers alike. Drug importation could open up the U.S.’ highly regulated supply chain to unapproved, counterfeit and potentially dangerous medicines, and end up in the hands of Americans,” said Libby Baney, on behalf of ASOP Global.
Signatories to the letter include Best Medicines Coalition, Canadian Pharmacists Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, Health Charities Coalition of Canada, HealthcareCAN (a voice for healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada), Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Diabetes Canada, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Onpharm-United, Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, McKesson Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart/Loblaw Companies Limited. The full letter can be found here. Lisez la lettre ici.
ABOUT ASOP Canada and ASOP GLOBAL
ASOP Canada is a programmatic chapter of ASOP Global. The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to protecting consumers around the world, ensuring safe access to medications, and combating illegal online drug sellers. ASOP Global has an expansive membership including non-profit public health organizations, international members, pharmacy members, as well as pharmaceutical manufacturers.