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Prescription Drug Ban to the US?

I posted a new poll over at Progressive Bloggers that reads as follows:

The US Congress is expected to soon pass a bill that allows prescription drug imports from Canada. Canada’s pharmacists argue this will deplete drugs in Canada and are calling on Tony Clement to ban bulk and retail exports to the US. Do you agree this should be done?

The background behind that poll is this: a bunch of Canadian pharmacist groups are basically joining forces to lobby Health Minister Tony Clement to introduce a ban on bulk and retail exports of prescription drugs in order to make sure a proposed bill by the Democratic-controlled Congress that will allow mass importation of prescription drugs into the US from Canada would be rendered ineffective.

The arguments that the pharmacists use for this are two-fold: 1) The US needs to solve its own problems of high-drug costs rather then raid our drugstores, and 2) mass exports would jepoardize Canada’s own supply.

At the moment, Minister Clement doesn’t think there will be a supply problem. The bill the Congress is proposing would also allow mass importation from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

I’m undecided on this issue myself. On the one hand, I can see the Pharmacists having a valid point or 2, and I do agree the US is copping out on the issue by not dealing with it domestically… but on the other, will the supply really be that greatly strained?

It will be interesting to watch the poll results over at the site and any comments on this issue.

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6 comments to Prescription Drug Ban to the US?

  • slg

    Given Tony Clements 25% shareholdings in drug companies, I think he’s rubbing his hands right now.

    What a scumbag.

  • L. emersonia

    I question the validity of asking Clement anything related to the drug trade until I know if he’s sold his shares in big pharm. Until then, he’s got his hand in all the pockets and that’s just dirty pool.

  • I think US consumers deserve fair drug prices; I would just prefer it not be done in a way that winds up screwing us.

  • Steven Hodson asked:
    [quote comment=”768″]given that the prices we pay for anything are driven by supply and demand what are the chances that the prices we end up paying for our drugs won’t end up skyrocketing because of this exporting to the US[/quote]

    That is another point the pharmacists say might happen if bulk exporting isn’t banned.

    Like I said.. I’m not sure what my position is on this.

  • Steven Hodson

    given that the prices we pay for anything are driven by supply and demand what are the chances that the prices we end up paying for our drugs won’t end up skyrocketing because of this exporting to the US

  • State governments importing Canadian drugs seemed kind of cute. The US federal government sanctioning it begins to be faintly ridiculous. The whole reason this phenomenon exists is because the pharmaceutical companies charge premium prices in the US which other countries won’t stand for – wouldn’t the rational approach be for the US government to simply demand they charge the same prices stateside?

    That said, of course, the pharmaceutical companies have the ability to harm Canadians if this goes poorly, since neither the US nor Canada is likely to play hardball any time soon.

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