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HHS comments come in overwhelmingly against Canadian drug importation proposal

Yesterday ended a 78-day comment period for the White House’s proposal to import medicine from Canada. In all, over 1,000 comments were filed. Overwhelmingly, these comments opposed the proposed rule or expressed skepticism that the rule could meet the two requirements listed in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003: be safe and save consumers money. In fact, when you read the comments, it is clear that this policy is overwhelming opposed by experts on the issues of economics and medicine safety.

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Canadian Importation Does Not Work

graph comparing the population of Canada to the US

The number of U.S. residents in states that are considering importing drugs from Canada is almost four times Canada’s own population. Canadian drug importation is not the structural solution we need.

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“5 Ways” consumer bookmark

Download our “5 Ways” Consumer Bookmark for a quick reference about how to protect yourself from counterfeit medicine.  

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Infographic: Counterfeiting By The Numbers

Our infographic, “Counterfeiting by the Numbers,” highlights facts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s January 2020 report, Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, which documents the extraordinary scale of the global counterfeiting market and its effects across all economic sectors—including medicines.

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How do you test whether a medication is legitimate?

Infographic showing how medication is tested.

Testing medicine for legitimacy is a complicated process. Across 24 different prescription medicines, the average cost to test a single dose is $2,750. However, ensuring that a batch of 100 pills is safe requires testing at least 22 pills. To learn more about this topic, read “Dollars and Sense: An Examination of the Cost Effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Importation” by Dr. Kristina Acri nee Lybecker at https://safedr.ug/DrAcri.

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Myth: We are getting the same drugs Canadians take

In 2014, during a two-year period when Maine was experimenting with drug importation, the president of Maine’s Pharmacy Association purchased medications from an online pharmacy for testing. The drugs he received were not approved for the Canadian or U.S. markets. Worse, they were poor quality: two of them were the wrong strength, and the other was contaminated.

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Drug Importation By the Numbers

When broken down to the nuts and bolts of implementation and operational execution, current drug importation plans fall apart. Drug Importation is neither a safe nor cost-effective solution.  The numbers do not lie.

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Do You Know What A Pill Press Is?

Do you know what a pill press is? Drug counterfeiters can acquire a pill press and a counterfeit pill mold to churn out counterfeit medications for less than $500. Unfortunately, “garage manufacturers” are not careful about manufacturing controls, and their products often contain fatal doses of fentanyl or other drugs. Since 2015, bootleg prescription drugs…

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