Importing prescription drugs from Canada won't solve America's drug price problems – Chicago Sun-Times

Activists protest the price of prescription drugs in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building on Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.
A recent letter claimed that importing prescription drugs from Canada would help more Americans afford medications they need, and while this is true, there are many risks to importing from Canadian pharmacies.
There are states that allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada (Florida, Vermont, Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and New Hampshire) but there is no guarantee that the drugs that are being imported meet the standards of the Food and Drug Administration. And with the increased interest in Canadian drugs, importation could threaten the drug supply within Canada.
Americans who import prescription drugs do save money, but savings come at other costs and risks to the consumer. The FDA does not have the authority to approve drugs in Canada, so these drugs — and drugs imported from elsewhere — are open to several vulnerabilities such as counterfeiting or contamination, as the FDA warned in 2018.
The FDA has stated that when internet sites, where many can get prescription drugs from Canada, receive warning letters from the FDA, 70% continue to conduct illicit activities. The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, an association based in Canada, agrees that Canadian pharmacists should not be breaking these boundaries.
Canada’s health system is not able to handle the amount of American prescriptions that would need to be filled to help Americans and their needs when it comes to drug price reduction. A study from 2017 found that Canada would run out of their supply of prescription drugs in 183 days if just 20% of U.S. prescriptions were filled in Canada.
Buying prescription drugs from Canada is not a viable or long-term solution to alleviate American drug price issues, as the FDA cannot guarantee the effectiveness, safety or supply of these drugs. Other avenues need to be explored instead of trying to utilize a health system that was designed for another country and its citizens’ needs.
Nathan Roden, McHenry
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection has done a masterful job of exposing the seriousness of this blot on our nation’s history, including the part played by its chief actor, Donald Trump. No reasonable person can pretend that the facts are unclear about the design and scope of this nefarious plot: an incumbent president, defeated overwhelmingly, employed a morally bankrupt cast of characters to try to subvert the peaceful transfer of power. This is the unvarnished truth, plain and simple.
Although every single detail of this unsuccessful coup may never be known, the dedicated members of the House committee have laid bare the corruption of these bad actors, have shown that the Department of Justice must take strong actions to prevent a repetition of another such assault on our government.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, the next move is yours.
Samuel C. Small, Roseland


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