Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s new plan to import cheaper drugs from Canada seems like a no-brainer. But like most things in health care, it’s complicated.

The logic is simple enough: Canadians buy the same drugs, made by the same manufacturers, but they get them at a much cheaper cost. So, says Trump, let’s take their drugs.


It’s also wildly popular: 80% of Americans said in a recent survey they support importing prescription drugs, making the idea one of the most well-liked drug pricing proposals currently being considered in Washington.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • My new eye drops ( that have to be refrigerated) cost me $1500 a year, approximately one month’s SS. This is an unbearable burden, But I will lose my eye sight without these. Laws must be changed inside America to help average Americans.

  • If you are using Medicare part D for pharmacy benefits PBM will take back payments made to your local independent pharmacy that cover the costs after your copay. Medicare patients using Medicare part D pay 3-9% more than anyone for prescription medication. Most have no idea this is happening but your local pharmacies are starting to close their doors. The payment the PBM (pharmacy benefit mangers) take back is from a loop hole and called DIR fees (direct/indirect renumeration fees). If was used to give pharmacies rebates. If our government wants to lower the costs for prescription medication this would be a good start.

  • Drugs costs less in Canada than in the US because Canada has no lobbyists, PBMs, middlemen, or fumblings with discounts, kickbacks etc. It negotiates directly with drug companies. Being un-corruptable most certainly and obviously pays off. The US needs to clean up its heavily overblown health care system where the patients seems to matter dead-last.

  • What makes drugs (and health care in general) in Canada far less costly is due to the enormous work that the government does for health care for Canadians – funded by boat-loads of tax payer’s moneys. It is a vastly superior system compared to the lobbyists-infected chaos in America where pharma money can and does buy politicians, rendering health care unaffordable for a large chunk of the US population. As long as there are so many profiteers in the US “health care” system taking their piece of the pie, any health care item will be much more expensive in the US as compared to other nations including Canada. The US should target to duplicate those other nations succes stories, and not plan to just pluck and drain the neighbour who has done all the proper leg-work.

  • the tracking system (technology that Azar speaks of) which tracks any pharmaceutical distributed in the US would have to also track anything being imported thus any potential country we were importing from would also have to use the same system correct? Otherwise how would the FDA be able to oversee this process unless we truly would allow state oversight which probably doesn’t make sense since distributor and pharmacy companies function nationally? Not to mention any state oversight would further complicate and sort of undermine our current system?

Comments are closed.