New Mexico public hearing on Canadian Drug Importation (Dec. 2, 2020)

On Tuesday, December 2, 2020, New Mexico conducted their one and only public hearing on their plan to import medicine from Canada (over Canada's objections).

PSM's executive director, Shabbir Imber Safdar, testified about the problems with New Mexico's draft plan. Watch our video (at right) and read the accompanying blog to hear our analysis of New Mexico's draft application.



Christina Adams, Chief Pharmacy Officer for the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, testified against the proposal. She explained that Canada doesn't have the drug supply to supply the U.S. or even New Mexico. She passionately described the negative impact that drug shortages, even before the pandemic, had on health care in Canada. The situation is much worse now.

Representatives of U.S. wholesalers/distributors, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance [PDF] and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores [PDF] testified about their safety concerns about the plan.

PhRMA submitted extensive comments [PDF] noting that the plan had failed to show how it would save money and, more importantly, how it would create safety holes in the supply chain.

Additionally pharmaceutical company InCyte testified that they believed that two of their products had been incorrectly categorized as eligible for importation [PDF].

Supporters of importation did not testify in support of the proposal at the hearing, apart from cursory statements of thanks to the agency officials who had developed the plan.

The legislation that began this effort set a deadline of December 15th, 2020 for the Department of Health to submit this application to HHS. They are expected to submit the application before that deadline.