Trump approves plan to make the import of Canadian drugs easier

pharmafile | September 25, 2020 | News story | Medical Communications  

President Trump has outlined his “America First Health Plan” on Thursday, which will allow the easy importation of prescription drugs from Canada.

Trump signed an executive order that declared it is the policy of the Federal Government to protect individuals with preexisting conditions and ensure they have access to care they can afford. 

The order will send drug discount cards to over 33 million seniors and finalised a rule that will allow the import of prescription drugs from Canada. It also proposed a rule to allow low-income Americans to purchase affordable insulin and Epi-Pens at nearly 10,000 Federal clinical locations. 

Congress has allowed drug importation from its Northern neighbour since 2000, but this was only if the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services certified they were safe. Prices are cheaper in Canada because the country limits how much drugmakers can charge for medicines, while the US lets the free market dictate drug prices. 

Trump said of the plan: “We will finally allow the safe and legal importation of drugs from Canada. You can go to Canada and buy your drugs for a fraction of the price. This will be a game changer for American seniors. We’re doing it very, very quickly.”

About four million Americans import medicines from abroad for personal use each year. According to surveys, roughly 20 million people say they, or someone in their household, have done so because prices are so much lower in other countries.

Conor Kavanagh

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