top of page

Food Group

Public·18 members
Denis Zuev
Denis Zuev

Is It Legal To Buy Prescription Drugs From Canada


Even though insulin is not included among the drugs covered by the rule, the Trump administration Thursday issued a request for proposals seeking plans from private companies on how insulin could be safely brought in from other countries and made available to consumers at a lower cost than products here. The request specified it would have to be insulin that was once in the United States and sent to other nations before being brought back.




is it legal to buy prescription drugs from canada



Nonetheless, officials said they are interested in studying options for consumers to benefit from importation. The administration Thursday issued another request for proposals to set up a system that would allow U.S. consumers to import drugs through local pharmacies, a senior HHS official said Friday on a call with reporters.


The administration envisions a system in which a Canadian-licensed wholesaler buys from a manufacturer of drugs approved for sale in Canada and exports the drugs to a U.S. wholesaler/importer under contract to a state.


The high cost of prescription drugs continues to be a top health priority for the public. Policymakers at the federal and state level are pursuing a range of options to lower drug prices for Americans, one of which would allow for the safe importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, based on evidence showing that people often pay more for medications in the U.S. than elsewhere. In an executive order issued July 2021, President Joe Biden directed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work with states to import prescription drugs from Canada, an approach that was put into place by the previous Administration and has bipartisan support among the general public (Figure 1).


Current law allows for the importation of certain drugs from Canada under defined, limited circumstances, and only if the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certifies that importation poses no threat to the health and safety of the American public and will result in significant cost savings to the American consumer. In September 2020, the Trump Administration issued a final rule and final FDA guidance, creating two new pathways for the safe importation of drugs from Canada and other countries, and then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar certified that importation of prescription drugs poses no risk to public health and safety and would result in significant cost savings.


Many studies have shown that people in the United States often pay more for their prescription drugs than in other developed countries, including Canada. According to one analysis of a subset of single-source brand-name drugs, Canadian drug prices are about 28% of the price in the United States, while another analysis of a broad range of drugs found that Canadian prices are 46% of those in the United States.


The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) amended the Section 804 importation language that was added by the MEDS Act. The MMA specifies that wholesalers and pharmacists can only import prescription drugs from Canada, not other industrialized countries. The MMA also authorizes the Secretary to terminate such importation programs if they do not meet safety standards or result in a significant reduction in costs for consumers. The MMA also requires the HHS Secretary to issue regulations that would grant waivers to individuals to import drugs for personal use under certain circumstances.


Importation of prescription drugs under conditions set forth first by the MEDS Act, and then by the MMA, could allow wholesalers and pharmacists to obtain FDA-approved drugs at lower prices than are available in the U.S. by purchasing them from foreign sellers, and pass these savings on to U.S. consumers.


In September 2020, the Trump Administration issued a final rule and final FDA guidance for the importation of prescription drugs. The final rule would authorize states, territories and Indian tribes, and in certain future circumstances wholesalers and pharmacists, to implement time-limited importation programs, known as Section 804 Implementation Programs or SIPs, for importation of prescription drugs from Canada only. States, territories, and Indian tribes could submit proposals to the HHS Secretary to manage these SIPs and act as SIP sponsors.


In order for a proposal to be approved by HHS, a SIP sponsor would need to specify: the drugs it seeks to import; the foreign seller in Canada that would purchase the drug directly from its manufacturer; the importer in the U.S. that would buy the drug directly from the foreign seller in Canada; the re-labeler or re-packager of the drug itself that would ensure the drug meets all labeling requirements in the U.S.; the qualifying lab that would conduct testing of the drug for authenticity and degradation; and steps that would be taken by the SIP to ensure the supply chain is secure. SIPs would initially be authorized for 2-year periods with the possibility of 2-year extensions.


Under the final rule, which allows states and other entities to facilitate importation of drugs from Canada, only drugs that are currently marketed in the U.S. would be eligible for importation. As under current law, certain types of drugs are excluded from the definition of a prescription drug eligible for importation including: controlled substances, biological products (including insulin), infused drugs, intravenously injected drugs, and inhaled drugs during surgery. Furthermore, drugs that are subject to risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS), which are high-risk products with serious safety concerns, such as opioids, are not eligible for importation.


Under the final FDA guidance, which allows manufacturers to import drugs to the U.S. that were manufactured and intended for sale in other countries (not limited to Canada), prescription drugs, including biological products excluded under the final rule, could be imported and made available to patients. These drugs must also currently be marketed in the U.S. to be eligible.


In most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import FDA-approved drugs from other countries for personal use. However, based on changes enacted by the MMA, personal importation of prescription drugs that have not been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. is permitted on a case-by-case basis. Under this statutory authority, FDA has put out guidance that lays out certain circumstances where importation of non-FDA approved drugs for personal use might be allowed. For example, personal importation is generally allowed if the treatment is for a serious condition, there is no effective treatment available in the U.S., and there is no commercialization of the drug for U.S. residents. Typically, only a three-month supply is allowed, and individuals most confirm in writing that the drug is for personal use and provide information about the physician responsible for their treatment.


Many stakeholders have expressed reservations about the feasibility of the current importation plans. Prime Minister Trudeau stated that ensuring the safe and adequate supply of prescription drugs for Canadians is his first priority. However, he also said the Canadian government will take into account the actions of the United States and may be able to provide help to the US and other countries. The Government of Canada stated that it would be unable to meet the needs of the U.S. market without impacting access to medications for Canadians. The Canadian government also expressed concern that this policy would create drug shortages in Canada, and issued an order in November 2020 prohibiting the distribution of drugs that could cause or exacerbate a shortage.


The high costs of prescription drugs are a significant concern in the United States. According to the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker, three-quarters of adults surveyed found prescription drugs unaffordable. One-third did not take prescribed medication because of its financial burden.


In Canada, prescription drugs can be a quarter to a half less expensive than in the U.S., the Kaiser Family Foundation reported. In Canada, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) reviews pharmaceutical prices and orders patent holders to lower costs if they are too high.


In most cases, it is illegal to purchase drugs from Canada, per the Food and Drug Administration. The federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) bars individuals from importing drugs from other countries for personal use.


Although the FDA stresses that it cannot guarantee that a Canadian drug is adequate, it does not actively prevent people from getting drugs from Canada when a drug is not available in the U.S. and the individual has a significant medical need for it.


Federal law regulates the importation of Canadian drugs by pharmacists and wholesalers. Congress amended the FD&C Act in 2000 and 2003, permitting pharmacists and wholesalers to bring prescription drugs from Canada into the U.S. in specific circumstances.


Let's make this very clear. It's absolutely, unequivocally, without question illegal to reimport into the U.S. prescription drugs that have been exported to other countries, or to bring in substances that are banned under U.S. law, for any reason, except when you've got a prescription and the FDA or customs agents say it's OK, or decide to look the other way. 041b061a72


About

Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...

Members

bottom of page