Florida Nears Permitting Importation of Canadian Medication Amid FDA Warnings

A Senate committee has passed Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida’s proposal to permit the importation of drugs from Canada into the state from to reduce medicine prices.

The law (SB 1528) officially allowed the state’s Health and Human Services to import raising immediate reaction from the pharmaceutical sector, which is afraid trading with Canada will provide a loophole for fake medicine.

Even so, more and more American patients are using Canadian pharmaceutics for medicine as reported by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP). The researcher found that foreign drugs can lead to up to a 70 percent cut on drug-related spending.

For now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still forbids the importation of medication drugs for personal use. The FDA also showed fear concerning the legitimacy and authenticity of some suppliers from Canada.

It even sent an official warning letter to CanaRx, an in-store (not online) Canadian drug supplier telling the firm to stop risking American lives by dispensing untested medication to US patients.

According to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, when patients go online to purchase medicines supposedly from Canadian dealers, they may be duped by medication from unknown sources that could be fake or expired.

Meanwhile, many other states have also tabled proposals on their drug importation programs, but they do not seem to have much backing from the Trump admin. As we all know; importation was never part of President Trump’s last year plan streamlining the medicine process.

The blueprint centered more on scrutinizing pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that do not offer customers full details and setting prices for drugs in America covered by Medicare Part B to match a host of other industrialized nations. This section includes medicines prescribed in physician’s offices or outpatient health facilities.

It should also be remembered that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set up a working committee to probe how importing drug may help deal with the issue of price increases and disruptions in distributions.

Final thoughts

If at all, more states in the US will accept drugs from overseas, care must be taken to ensure we are taking tested drugs and not counterfeits. The proposers of these bills should publicize their strategy on how the plan to deal with bad players and counterfeiters so that we don’t risk innocent lives.  

More stringent laws must also be passed to protect online consumers, given the tricky nature of the platform. It is not easy to know when you are dealing with real suppliers or fraudsters.

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about Canadian high risk merchant account as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.