News Releases

ASOP Canada Urges Health Canada to Protect Canadian Drug Supply in Wake of U.S. Drug Importation Legislation, along with 14 other Canadian health stakeholders

TORONTO – July 26, 2019 – Yesterday, along with 14 other Canadian organizations representing patients, health professionals, hospitals, hospital and community pharmacy and distributorse Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Canada chapter (ASOP Canada) issued a letter to Canada’s Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor to express concern about U.S. state and federal legislation that permits the importation of Health Canada-approved medicines to the United States.

Citing fear of increased drug shortages in Canada, the letter urges Health Canada to intervene where necessary to ensure stability of the Canadian drug supply and provide clarity to Canadians regarding the implications of these U.S. laws.

“We are already experiencing serious drug shortages in Canada—we simply do not have the drug supply to meet U.S. demand,” said Joelle Walker, Vice President, Public Affairs with the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Chair of ASOP Canada’s Steering Committee. “We hope Health Canada will take action immediately and strengthen laws and regulations to protect the Canadian drug supply.”

ASOP Canada has significant concerns about the risks of prescription drug importation and the dangers posed by illegal online pharmacies.  Importation legislation may exacerbate Canada’s drug shortage challenges and drive Canadian and American patients to access medicine through unconventional sources, such as unlicensed websites that distribute counterfeit, substandard and unapproved medicines. We applaud these organizations for standing up for the safety of both Canadian and U.S. patients, alike.

“Importing drugs from Canada could not only hurt the Canadian supply of medications and impact patient care, but U.S. consumers will be at greater risk to receive unapproved and potentially dangerous drugs.” said Libby Baney, on behalf of ASOP Global.

Canada’s drug supply system and price controls are designed to serve the 36 million who live in Canada – a mere 10% of the total U.S. population.  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.