ASOP Global Opposes New Biden Policy on Canadian Drug Importation
EO Puts American Patients at Risk and Perpetuates Myth that Importation Will Solve U.S. Drug Pricing Woes
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 12, 2021 – Friday, President Biden issued an Executive Order that directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work with states and tribes on plans to import prescription drugs from Canada. In response, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) issued the following statement:
ASOP Global opposes President Biden’s Executive Order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” which includes a directive for the FDA to work with states and tribes on schemes to import “cheaper drugs from Canada.” Far from promoting competition for legitimate American pharmacies and drug manufacturers, this policy will only serve to create new health risks to patients by allowing unapproved, substandard, falsified, and counterfeit medicines to infiltrate the closed, highly regulated U.S. drug supply chain. The only competition this policy promotes is among illegal online drug sellers vying for profits from counterfeit pharmaceuticals sales in the $200 billion annual criminal enterprise – the most lucrative sector of the illicit global market.
A new national survey by the ASOP Global Foundation shows that U.S drug importation policies create dangerous false perceptions among American consumers that all foreign or “Canadian” pharmacies online are regulated, legitimate and safe – when the opposite is true. Alarmingly, the survey shows that more than one-third of American consumers say they would knowingly ignore explicit government prohibitions from buying medicines from Canadian online pharmacies because of their misperceptions that they can safely access cheaper medications from sources abroad.
The notion that importing drugs from Canada will address the drug pricing problem in the United States is a myth. Drug importation schemes aren’t safe, don’t save money, and won’t work. For more than two decades, bipartisan leaders within the FDA have opposed drug importation policies. Their own research has shown that so-called “Canadian pharmacies” on the internet are operated by fraudulent actors blatantly attempting to swindle American consumers. Past U.S. importation schemes have failed in states like Illinois, Minnesota, and Vermont, where the Vermont Agency of Human Services estimated that costs for operating the program following health regulations would far eclipse any potential patient savings.
Furthermore, the Canadian government and other Canadian stakeholders have expressed serious concerns about the impact and impracticality of U.S. drug importation policies. Canadian regulators have consistently said that they will not certify the integrity and safety of drugs exported from Canada into the U.S.
ASOP Global stands with the science-based conclusions of the FDA and public health advocates over the last 20 years and opposes this unworkable policy decision out of the Biden Administration.
ABOUT ASOP GLOBAL
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, is dedicated to protecting consumers around the world, ensuring safe access to medications, and combating illegal online drug sellers.