Canada blocked bulk exports of prescription drugs if they would create a shortage at home, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to allow imports from Canada to lower some drug prices for Americans.
“Certain drugs intended for the Canadian market are prohibited from being distributed for consumption outside of Canada if that sale would cause or worsen a drug shortage,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a statement.
“Companies will now also be required to provide information to assess existing or potential shortages, when requested, and within 24 hours if there is a serious or imminent health risk,” the statement said. “Canada is a small market, representing 2% of global drug sales, that sources 68% of its drugs internationally. The need for vigilance in maintaining the national drug supply continues.”
The Canadian measure went into effect on November 27, just days before a U.S. “Importation Prescription Drugs” rule that would eventually allow licensed U.S. pharmacists or wholesalers to import in bulk certain prescription drugs intended for the Canadian market. (For more information on this and other rules recently applied to the Healthcare Industry, click here.)
Many of Canada’s drug suppliers opposed Trump’s plan, saying it could lead to shortages.
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