Op-eds: Canadian and American regulators, law enforcement and patient advocates oppose drug importation
Since 2000, every head of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opposed drug importation because the benefits that might be gained are far outweighed by the many dangers. Law enforcement, patient advocates, pharmacy groups, and regulators agree.
Canada Drugs isn’t the only online pharmacy that puts patients’ lives in serious jeopardy. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recently examined more than 11,000 online pharmacies and found that 96 percent were operating illegally.
LIKE ALL drug scourges, the fentanyl epidemic that claims so many lives every day is a matter of supply and demand. The demand, alas, is made in America. The supply, by contrast, is overwhelmingly imported, with a key source being China, where a poorly regulated cottage industry makes the stuff, takes orders over the Internet and ships it via international mail to the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Earlier this month, in the midst of an opioid epidemic ravaging the state, Vermont’s legislature voted to legalize buying drugs from Canada, where government-set price controls keep prices artificially low.
In this editorial, which was published in The Arizona Republic on June 7, 2018, former Pinal County, AZ sheriff Paul Babeu argues that criminal smugglers from Mexico and China are a driving force in the United States’ fentanyl crisis.
In a June 7, 2018 editorial for The Hill, Former FBI deputy assistant director and Pharmaceutical Security Institute President Thomas Kubic argues that current sentences and penalties are not strong enough to deter criminal drug importation: “It boils down to this, if an entity — be it an organization or person — opts to engage in activities involving illegal distribution chains, there should be consequences, often certain, swift, and overwhelmingly punitive.”
In this May 31, 2018 editorial for The Daily Caller, pharmacoeconomic expert Dr. Marv Shepherd explains the concrete reasons why the importation of drugs from other countries as a means to lowering prices in the U.S. is both unsafe and economically unsound.
By approving the wholesale reimportation of U.S. prescription drugs from Canada, the Vermont Legislature passed an illegal measure that will not lower drug prices. Instead, it will subject Vermonters to public health risks and new taxes to defray an inevitable federal lawsuit.
In this editorial, which appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on April 27, 2018, Georgia resident Lisa Hicks warns readers about the counterfeit prescription pills that killed her son in 2015:
“One needn’t be an addict to die from an overdose..Joe had a solid job and was studying for a degree in exercise science…One day, he pulled a muscle at the gym. He was in serious pain, so he bought what he thought were prescription painkillers from a friend. Those pills turned out to be counterfeit. And they contained a deadly amount of fentanyl. The next day, my son was gone.”
A nonprofit executive wrote in this April 20, 2018 editorial that America needs to concentrate on keeping counterfeit drugs, including those made with fentanyl, from crossing our northern border just as much as the southern…
In a March 29, 2019 editorial, Charles “Sam” Faddis discussed the importance of not overlooking the effects that fentanyl, and especially counterfeit medicines made with fentanyl, is having on the opioid crisis in America…