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Canada enacts new rules earlier than US drug import rule

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New Trump administration rule permitting US pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescribed drugs in bulk from Canada comes into impact Monday.

The Canadian authorities has introduced new measures it mentioned are designed to forestall drug shortages, solely days earlier than a brand new Trump administration rule would permit pharmacists and wholesalers in america to import medication from Canada.

In a statement on Saturday, Canada mentioned that as of Friday sure medication meant for the Canadian market had been barred from being distributed exterior the nation “if that sale would trigger or worsen a drug scarcity”.

Corporations additionally should present the federal government with details about current or potential shortages when requested. These requests have to be answered inside 24 hours if there’s a critical or imminent well being danger, the assertion mentioned.

“Our healthcare system is an emblem of our nationwide id and we’re dedicated to defending it. The actions we’re taking at the moment will assist shield Canadians’ entry to the medicine they depend on,” Canada’s Well being Minister Patty Hadju mentioned.

US President Donald Trump announced plans late final yr to permit US states and Indigenous governments to arrange programmes to import prescribed drugs from Canada as a part of an effort to decrease what are sometimes exorbitantly excessive prices for American customers.

That new regulation, referred to as the Importation of Prescription Medication rule, comes into impact on Monday.

Below the brand new rules, Indigenous governments, pharmacists and wholesalers shall be allowed to suggest drug importation proposals to the US Meals and Drug Administrations (FDA).

Importers should exhibit how these proposals respect US well being and security rules and assist cut back prices, the rule states.

“The aim … is to realize a major discount in the price of coated merchandise to the American shopper whereas posing no extra danger to the general public’s well being and security,” in accordance with the brand new rule.

Ottawa has mentioned importing medication from Canada wouldn’t assist tackle excessive prices within the US because the Canadian market of prescribed drugs represents solely two p.c of worldwide gross sales.

The price of prescribed drugs in america is commonly exorbitantly excessive [File: George Frey/Reuters]

However a number of US states, together with Florida and Vermont, have expressed an curiosity in importing medication from Canada, the pinnacle of the US Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS), Alex Azar, mentioned final yr, Reuters Information Company reported.

On November 23, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced that he had submitted a proposal to the HHS to import medicine from Canada.

The state will start by importing medication to assist individuals with persistent well being circumstances together with bronchial asthma, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, DeSantis mentioned in an announcement.

“For much too lengthy, Floridians have been paying exorbitant costs for prescribed drugs,” he mentioned. “In the present day, we take one other step in the direction of reducing these costs.”

US pharmaceutical firms have raised opposition, nonetheless, and earlier this week, three business teams filed a lawsuit towards the brand new regulation, alleging it “disregards key protections … designed to make sure affected person security”.

“It’s alarming that the administration selected to pursue a coverage that threatens public well being on the identical time that we’re combating a worldwide pandemic,” James Stansel, govt vp of Pharmaceutical Analysis and Producers of America, mentioned in a statement.