ASOP Canada Statement on Proposed Regulations to Import Prescription Medicines from Canada
TORONTO December 18, 2019 – In response to today’s announcement by announcement by the Trump Administration and the proposed regulations to allow importation of prescription medicines, ASOP Canada issued the following statement:
“Canadians are sympathetic to the struggles that our American neighbours face in accessing affordable medicine, but importing prescription drugs from Canada is not a safe solution.
Our drug supply is meant for Canadian citizens, not a country with a population 10 times our size. Canada already faces shortages for a range of life-saving diabetes, cancer and other medicines. The proposed U.S. regulations to import prescription medicines from Canada will deepen our country’s drug shortage crisis and put the health of Canadian patients at serious risk.
As drug shortages intensify, ASOP Canada fears that importation of Health Canada-approved medication by the 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.
These regulations threaten the safety of American patients as well. Criminal networks are already exploiting America’s struggle with high drug prices to peddle fake, substandard and unsafe drugs to patients Americans who unknowingly buy unsafe medicines from pharmacies posing as ‘Canadian’ online pharmacies. The imbalance of Canada’s safe drug supply versus an increase in demand due to importation will open up a lucrative new loophole for digital drug dealers to traffic dangerous – potentially deadly – counterfeit drugs into the United States.
U.S. proposals to import medicines from Canada are bad for both of our countries. We urge the Administration to find a safer solution to its drug pricing problem.
Over the past few months, together with 14 other organizations, ASOP Canada was proud to voice our concerns about U.S. drug importation proposals to Canada’s Health Minister[i] and Canada’s Prime Minister[ii]. We will continue to urge Canada’s government to take swift and urgent action to protect Canada’s drug supply in response to the U.S. Safe Importation Action Plan.”
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ASOP Canada Chapter is a program of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies which is a U.S. nonprofit tax-exempt social welfare organization organized to promote global policies and programs for improved patient safety involving online distribution of pharmaceutical products. ASOP Canada Chapter is not a separate legal entity.