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The new White House plan to import medicines from Canada is being billed as historic, but you better gas up if you think the proposal will save you from making a trip across the border to buy insulin.

Along with some other medicines known as biologics, which are typically administered by physicians, the diabetes treatment will not be part of the new proposal announced on Wednesday. Neither will many cancer medicines. And this is just one of several limitations to a plan that, in all fairness, holds some potential, but appears politically motivated more than anything else.


This is among the reasons I think the plan will have, at best, a modest impact. But before I delve into the nitty-gritty, let’s look at the politics.

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  • This is a good start. Dems have done nothing to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Instead of taking a socialist position (Bernie…) why don’t you look at the bright side. This will help some, and as they negotiate more reductions, it will continue to help. Medicare patients are likely the biggest users of drugs…if there is benefit to them that is great. Maybe we should just go after the pharmaceutical companies for abusive charges?

    • Let’s not call names D ‘s or R’s. Both political parties are in bed with the lobbyists. Each has done and will do nothing as their re-election, which is their job, depends on the pharma and PBM money.

      We will blue in our faces screaming to lower generic drug prices. Pharma and PBMs are the driver of high generic prices. Price control like they have in Canada and Europe is the answer for GENERIC drugs. Brands is a different story for some other time. Cheers.

  • In self-defense to having the fruits of hard work and mountains of tax-payer money simply looted by neighbours, with dire consequences for its own population (supply, retaliation by drug companies, etc) Canada needs to implement tough controls. And tariffs, so popular in the US anyway.

  • Canadians have been pouring over the border for years to take advantage of our healthcare system. If they wait to get surgery they need in Canada they will be dead. It takes forever just to get in for simple outpatient procedures.

    • Have you actually had ANY real experience with the Canadian health care system. Here’s an example: I had a high CRP reading and some inflammation – sent to my Doctor (without an appointment), got a requisition for a Lab Test – Results next day (a Tuesday); booked to see a Rheumatologist on Thursday AM. BTW, I could share many other similar ACTUAL experiences, but why bother when your comment is just repetetive anecdotal, unsubstantiated drivel.

  • What will it do to the politics when people realize this isn’t about importing drugs but about importing drug-price regulation. The U.S. is the only major economy that doesn’t regulate the prices of medicines as we do other public goods like gas and electricity. That is the main reason why studies show American drug prices average double the costs in the EU, Japan, and Canada. The difference is our politicians don’t have the courage to regulate the deep-pocketed drug industry, which always ranks at or near the top in spending on lobbying and campaign donations.

  • Trump’s intent to blatantly profiteer from Canada’s work on health care costs (paid for by the Canadian tax payers) ought to result in tariffs on this egoistical short-sighted drug trafficking – to the tune of 200% or so. Clearly Trump likes the money from the lobbyists, otherwise he would really be a Man and tackle the diseased health care system in the US. Instead, he plans to just walz over next door and empty the shelves, pick up some votes along the way. If the US supports this, if US citizens refuse to pay taxes for improving their own health care mess, then that nation is sick to the core. If just plucking the neighbour is deemed to be kosher, then it is time for another Border Wall – on the north side.

  • This administration is really walking on eggshells when it comes to lowering drug prices.
    Big Pharma and the PBM’s contribute big money to both parties, Trump is trying to keep everyone happy and lower drug prices. Maybe this is why Trump “Pulled the plug” on the drug rebate issue and getting rid of the DIR fees. These 2 avenues are huge money makers for the PBM’s. Drug rebates will NEVER go away unless this issue is addressed. Remember PCMA said drug rebates are used for prefered placement on drug formularies.
    The PBM’s are licking their chops hoping that buying drugs from Canada gets approved. firstly their “Spread Pricing” will be much bigger so there’s more for the taking.
    Bottom line here is simple , the high price of drugs in this country is caused by the PBM’s.
    Until our government has the kuhuna’s to stand up to their greedy stealing nothing will change!
    Pharma will either raise prices to countries like Canada or ship them less drugs so exporting
    these drugs is not a choice.
    Economics 101… competition lowers prices! PBM’s keeps drug prices high! That’s because
    it’s better for their greedy pockets!!!

  • This ends with a good concept – “Maybe it’s time to import a few more ideas.” Here’s one, pharma could shift from worrying about “leaving any money on the table” when it comes to pricing and simply set prices that include a fair profit? (“Fair” of course is in the eye or wallet of the beholder / payor, but still, it’s a thought.)

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