Talks on Importing Drugs Have Begun – well sort of, but don’t hold your breath. 

Is the reality that the USA subsidizes the rest of the world when it comes to drug prices? If that be the case, what is the solution?

I know one thing, the solution is not focusing on the end cost of a prescription drug, nor is it mandating a maximum co-pay. That is as ineffective as subsiding premiums for health care and then claiming you have done something to lower healthcare costs. And it’s not importing drugs from Canada either.

Should prescription drugs be thought of as a public utility where there is room for private investment, innovation and profit, but with certain limits? How about taxpayer funding of drug development beyond basic research?

None of these ideas are without problems and they have the potential of inhibiting development of new drugs to some extent, but so does government price fixing – sometimes called “negotiating.”

Talks on Important Drugs Have Begun April 18, 2022 Discussions have started over the possibility of importing drugs from Canada as a way of lowering drug costs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDC) has begun talking with five states about how such a program could be implemented. The five states involved in the discussions are Florida, Colorado, Vermont, Maine, and New Mexico. Each of those has submitted reimportation plans or are thinking about doing so.

However, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (Pharma), the lobbying arm of the big drug companies, sued to block a 2020 federal rule that would facilitate importation, citing patient safety and other concerns.

In addition, Canada has said it has no plans to participate and has told drugmakers not to take steps that could lead to drug shortages there. 💊💊

The possibility of it happening looks distant right now which is why TSCL is continuing to push Congress to pass legislation that will lower drug costs.

Source: Talks on Important Drugs Have Begun | The Senior Citizens League

💊💊 Americans may have a mistaken view of how Canadians pay for their prescription drugs. Each province is different and many require a deductible equal to a percentage of one’s income. Take a look.

4 comments

  1. I got to thinking about importing of drugs. The only reason I know that one of my drugs is already imported is because I get it in the original packaging. Your typical brown pill bottle that the pharmacist counts out usually doesn’t say the country of origin.

    Bayer is a Germany company. How many drugs do they export to the United States? GlaxoSmithKline is a British company. How many drugs do they export to the United States. How many others are foreign owned and manufactured? The FDA uses the excuse that it is all about drug safety and purity.

    I believe that it is BS and its all about the money.

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    1. Many drugs from US pharmaceutical companies are actually made outside the US and many generic drugs are actually made by same manufacturer as the brand.

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  2. Lots of folks have insurance that does a good job of covering meds and use of generics helps. The clamor seems to be on the extreme high price points and that somehow needs to be handled. I don’t think anything about paying $28 or $33 when I go to the drug counter. Some people even balk at that but that is life, deal with it. I’m more concerned if we should encounter the huge bills. What can be done about that is never addressed by any group or government agency.

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  3. Right now I realize that I have great insurance but that will end when I hit 65. I also know that many people could not afford the drugs my wife and I are currently on. With that said, I like to point out that one of my drugs is made in Demark and costs my insurance plan about $11,000 per year. Now I don’t know what it would cost if the drug wasn’t distributed by an American pharmaceutical company and bought directly but that would be unlikely as a foreign company probably wouldn’t want to deal directly with hundreds of American insurance plans and 50 states Medicaid plans.
    Comparing Canada to my current insurance plan, in some provinces, I would almost end up paying more for all my drugs than my current max insurance deductible. That is not counting any medical providers co-pays that I might pay in Canada.
    Because I have insurance in the US, I pay less than in Canada even with counting my insurance premiums othe co-pays. I know that is not the case for every American but it points out that the rechotic is not totally true in all cases.

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