Canada has quickly moved to ban export of certain medicines to US following Donald Trump’s plan to import drugs from its norther neighbor.
Trump planned on importing medications from Canada in a bid to lower drug prices in America, which are far higher than what most average Americans can afford.
Importing drugs from abroad, particularly from Canada, was a centerpiece in Trump’s re-election campaign.
The president issued an executive order in July this year that pushed to allow such importations, with the Department of Health and Human Services issuing a final rule in late September establishing a path for states and certain other entities to set up drug importation programs.
The plan calls for initially importing several classes of drugs, including maintenance medications to help those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.
The plan promoted by Trump aimed at allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import certain prescription drugs in bulk from Canada.
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But even before Trump’s plan took effect on Monday November 30th, Canada rushed to block drug export to its southern neighbor.
Canada announced Saturday a ban on exporting certain medicines that are or may soon be in short supply as a result of Trump’s plan.
The Canadian ban took effect on Friday, as the country’s health ministry defending the decision which he explained was aimed at protecting Canada’s drug supply from bulk exportations that could worsen drug shortages in the country.
“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,” the healthy ministry said.
Medicines tend to be cheaper in Canada than in the US, though Canadian prices remain higher than in a number of other developed countries.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20th 2021, has also mooted plans for US patients to import prescription drugs from other countries as part of his plans to lower prices.