‘Solve the problem at home’: U.S. plan to import cheaper drugs from Canada draws criticism

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it is looking at setting up a system that makes it legal for Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada at a lower price than in the United States.The statement, made by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on MSNBC, prompted questions about whether this could actually happen — and what it would mean for Canadians.Story continues belowREAD MORE: Why cheap Canadian drugs are part of Donald Trump’s re-election strategy (analysis)Azar said the administration’s proposal would allow states, wholesalers and pharmacists to get FDA approval to import certain medications that are also available in the U.S.The FDA currently permits U.S. residents to bring medication for personal use across the border, but not more than a three-month supply.“I came up with the idea to import cheaper generic drugs where there had been these price-gouging behaviours in the United States. We have to be open-minded here; we could get something done that really would benefit the American people,” Azar said.He didn’t offer details on talks between Canada the U.S. or give a timeline on when the possible changes would be in place.Paul Grootendorst, a University of Toronto associate professor who researches economics of the pharmaceutical industry, explained to Global News that there are several major flaws in the U.S. announcement.WATCH: Americans flock to Canada for cheaper insulin

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