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.
The impact on Canada’s health care system could be devastating. In the aftermath of a previous American proposal, a 2010 study on the potential effects of exporting Canada’s drug supply to the US concluded that “if 10% of the US prescriptions were filled from Canadian sources (manufacturer, wholesale or retail), Canada’s 2007 drug supply would be exhausted in 224 days.”
A 2018 follow-up study reached similar conclusions. Such studies are all but ignored by US clinicians who urge importing drugs from Canada, and who are strangely oblivious to the fact that supplying an American patient could mean taking that same drug away from someone who needs it in Canada.
In this August 9, 2018 editorial for RealClearMarkets, Bill Martinez reminds Americans that the FDA hasn’t yet approved importation for a reason: it’s impossible to open the floodgates to foreign drug imports without cutting corners on safety.
In this August 1, 2018 editorial for Inside Sources, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Director Carmen Catizone raises the alarm about ICANN’s proposed changes to the WHOIS system, a database that identifies the owners of web domains. These changes are meant to bring WHOIS in compliance with new European privacy laws but, he warns, they would also impede law enforcement and others’ efforts to “connect the dots and link up different websites run as part of large criminal enterprises” like drug counterfeiting rings.
In his July 16 editorial for The Washington Times, talk-show host and executive director of The Conservative Hispanic Society Chris Salcedo warns that expanding foreign drug commerce…would completely overwhelm current enforcement efforts” to protect Americans from fentanyl.
While the Trump administration works to stem the raging epidemic of opioid addiction, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has a plan to make it worse. He calls it the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, S. 469. This legislation would open our borders to the free flow of drugs – all drugs – from Canada and other countries.
It would be more accurate to call it the Unsafe Opioid Importation Facilitation Act – and we can’t afford it. Sanders is still peddling the bogus line that importing prescription drugs from Canada is the ticket to lower health-care bills for Americans. Not only has Bernie’s tonic been exposed as a fraud, it is downright deadly. Read more…
This editorial by Dr. Warren Willey was published in Idaho State Journal on July 7, 2018. Dr. Willey is an osteopathic physician who lives and works in Pocatello, Idaho. Dr. Willey says counterfeit drugs are becoming more commonplace and that people need to only purchase their medications from within the U.S.’s secure drug supply chain…
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.