Canada may halt prescription drug shipments to the United States
What are Americans to do? Canadian officials say they may soon outlaw the shipment of prescription drugs to the United States, leaving U.S. consumers with few options: either buy drugs from the monopoly U.S. drug market, or find prescription drug alternatives like medicinal herbs, nutritional supplements or lifestyle changes that eliminate the need for prescription drugs altogether. Related articles on this topic are also available on the NewsTarget Network, including: Pharmacists oppose free trade with Canada, citing loss of U.S. jobs.
- As more and more Americans buy their drugs from Canadian pharmacies, authorities in Canada are becoming so concerned about domestic supplies that a top official said the Canadian government may halt shipments to the US if the trade continues to grow.
- Canadian Health Minister, Ujjal Dosanjh, said ''''We certainly cannot be the drugstore for the United States of America.''
- Some large pharmaceutical companies have been stopping supplies to Canadian wholesalers they reckon are supplying prescription drugs to US individuals.
- Ujjal Dosanjh added ''''We in Canada need to make sure we don''t jeopardize our own situation."
- Although purchasing drugs from Canada is illegal for Americans, the FDA has turned a blind eye to this activity.
- For many of America''s unsinsured, and there are 48 million of them, buying prescription drugs from Canada can mean paying from 20% to 80% less.
- When asked whether Canada should increase its prices so that it becomes less attractive for US buyers, Ujjal Dosanjh said ''The issue that you have in the US is a domestic issue.''
- How big is the Canada to US sales of prescription drugs?
- It is estimated to be between $1.3bn to $1.7bn.
- Cross border trade is about $700 to $1bn.
- Ujjal Dosanjh added that Canada can manage current levels of trade.
- If there are laws passed to allow or encourage bulk imports from Canada to the US, we will have to act at that point."
- Over the last couple of years, American health related problems have become more frequent headlines.
- The list includes the flu vaccine fiasco, rocketing price hikes for prescription drugs, the rising number of uninsured people, the obesity epidemic.
- The impression abroad is of a country that is losing its grip on the nation''s health.
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