District of Columbia — Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced Wednesday morning that the Trump Administration is setting up a system that will allow for Americans to import lower priced prescription drugs from Canada legally. The announcement will pit the Administration against a powerful pharmaceutical industry.
With FDA guidance, states, wholesalers, and pharmacists can import certain medications from Canada, making them cheaper for Americans to buy. The industry has argued for years that lifting the ban could expose Americans to counterfeit or substandard medication. Implementation for the new plan is unknown, so results might not occur right away for Americans. Secretary Azar said in part, “For too long American patients have been paying exorbitantly high prices for prescription drugs that are made available to other countries at lower prices.” Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless stated, “We support the President and Secretary’s efforts to bring down drug prices for Americans. The FDA has a unique role to play in promoting competition that in turn can help reduce drug prices and improve access to medicine for Americans.”
According to the Council of Economic Advisors, savings from generic approvals under President Donald Trump are around $26 billion in 18 months.