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Canada has banned the export of some prescription medicines in order to prevent a shortage in the country. The decision is in response to a USA plan that will allow drugs to be imported from Canada to make them cheaper for Americans.
Although prescription drug prices in Canada are higher than some nations, they are cheaper than the prices of prescription drugs in the USA.
A number of Canada’s drug suppliers have warned that the plan, implemented by USA’s former president Donald Trump, would case shortages to the prescription drugs which will be sent into Canada.
The pandemic has already given the scope for increased demand for medicines according to health sources. A statement from Canada’s health ministry said the country sources 68% of its drugs from overseas and therefore it was important to avoid disruptions to supplies before and during their deliveries. The ministry also states that companies will now also be required to provide information to assess existing or potential shortages when requested and within 24 hours immediate assistance is there is serious of imminent health risks.
The former President Trump signed an executive order in July to allow legal importation of cheaper drugs from Canada with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who himself was delighted to help other actions with their supplies if possibly whilst simultaneously protecting the needs of Canadians.
Drug makers have faced intense criticism from the US politicians- including the former President Trump himself as well as insurance companies and patients over the increased and high costs of new medicines and price hikes in some old generic drugs.
USA’s newly elected President, Joe Biden has previously spoken of potentially importing drugs directly to the US to bring down costs.
By Meena Atmakuri