Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Health minister warns that Canada cannot be 'the drug store of the United States'
Kansas City ^

Posted on 11/10/2004 7:18:49 PM PST by maui_hawaii

BOSTON - Canada's health minister said Wednesday that his country "cannot be the drug store of the United States" - a warning that comes as several states are pushing to buy low-cost prescription drugs north of the border.

"It is difficult for me to conceive of how a small country like Canada could meet the prescription drug needs of approximately 280 million Americans without putting our own supply at serious risk," Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said in prepared text for a speech at Harvard Medical School.

Business has been booming for Canadian Internet pharmacies that take orders from Americans looking to buy Canadian drugs made less expensive by government price controls. Busloads of Americans cross the border to take advantage of Canadian drug prices that can be as much as 80 percent lower in some instances, according to a congressional study.

Dosanjh said Canadian health officials have found no evidence so far of shortages in Canada, but he predicted potential problems down the road if demand increases.

"To me it is a matter of common sense that Canada cannot be the drug store of the United States," he said. "Neither American consumers nor Canadian suppliers should have any illusions otherwise."


TOPICS: Canada; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/10/2004 7:18:49 PM PST by maui_hawaii
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?!


2 posted on 11/10/2004 7:19:34 PM PST by zzen01
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii
Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh

Ujjal what?

3 posted on 11/10/2004 7:22:10 PM PST by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zzen01

Heh heh.


4 posted on 11/10/2004 7:22:25 PM PST by 383rr (Those who choose security over liberty deserve neither-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii
Already, overwhelmed Canadian mail order pharmacies are shipping unregulated Russian and Indian medicines to meet demand, medications that cannot legally be sold in Canada due to dreadful quality and purity. They are being transhipped from the West Indies.

Caveat Emptor.

5 posted on 11/10/2004 7:23:16 PM PST by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xJones

Indian name. Canada has a large Indian minority and they're doing quite well, politically at least.


6 posted on 11/10/2004 7:24:14 PM PST by AM2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: zzen01

I was thinking the exact same thing.


7 posted on 11/10/2004 7:25:19 PM PST by maui_hawaii
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii
This person is either ignorant or dealing with some other problem. I suspect the latter. Because all these drugs are US drugs in the first place. We ship them up there, but they have a price cap on them. So our consumers want to buy them.

The US consumer currently subsidizes the Canadian's drugs because our consumers pay higher prices to offset the loss of profits the drug companies have to deal with in Canada due to the price caps. If all US consumers start purchasing from Canada then there is nobody left here in the US to subsidize the Canadian system.
8 posted on 11/10/2004 7:26:01 PM PST by Arkinsaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FormerACLUmember
Aren't most of these drugs American made already?

doesn't it just kill you to have to go begging to Canada for drugs that we manufacture here.....it does me.....

9 posted on 11/10/2004 7:26:18 PM PST by cherry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii
Yeah, This is the calculus that I could not understand, by the Left. If Canada were to become a source of 'scrip drugs for the US, the dynamic created would actually increase Canadian prices and not lower US prices. Come on, think about it. Pharmaceutical execs aren't stupid.
10 posted on 11/10/2004 7:26:25 PM PST by RedLightBob (God is smiling on US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii
"It is difficult for me to conceive of how a small country like Canada could meet the prescription drug needs of approximately 280 million Americans without putting our own supply at serious risk," Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said in prepared text for a speech at Harvard Medical School.

:-} I've been saying the same thing for quite some time now. Canada's pharmeceutical industry is a 5 billion dollar industry, Americas is about 135 billion. Neither the numbers or the workings of markets adds up. Its a joke.

11 posted on 11/10/2004 7:28:45 PM PST by jwalsh07
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii
I dont see how 280 million americans can keep carrying 30 million Canadian free loaders on our defense budget.
12 posted on 11/10/2004 7:29:07 PM PST by cynicom (<p)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FormerACLUmember

It doesn't matter if the drugs are any good. It doesn't even matter whether anyone is developing new drugs. All that matters is that they are cheap and affordable.


13 posted on 11/10/2004 7:29:09 PM PST by Larry Lucido
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RedLightBob

But if demand went down for drugs in the US (because so many Americans were buying them in Canada) wouldn't that cause prices to go down in the US? All it would take is one company to buckle and sell their drugs at a lower price. Competitors would follow.


14 posted on 11/10/2004 7:30:12 PM PST by BikerNYC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: cherry

Yes, Canada makes very little in the way of its own medications, extorting most of them at below market rates from US manufacturers. I wonder if we are going to see an Atlas Shrugged response from US Pharma.


15 posted on 11/10/2004 7:32:07 PM PST by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Larry Lucido
It doesn't matter if the drugs are any good. It doesn't even matter whether anyone is developing new drugs. All that matters is that they are cheap and affordable

You were sarcastic, but you just gave a pretty good definition of brain dead Marxism.

16 posted on 11/10/2004 7:34:16 PM PST by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: BikerNYC

I am not so sure. Besides "competition" is limited by way of patents which last for effectively 20 years.


17 posted on 11/10/2004 7:38:44 PM PST by RedLightBob (God is smiling on US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii

I would like to know if the people in Canada who purchase prescriptions have the right to sue the drug manufacturers if something untoward happens to them after taking the meds. If they DON'T, then I understand completely why meds are so much cheaper in Canada; the vendor doesn't have to bear the cost of malpractice lawsuits like those in the US that have driven some drugs completely off the market and made others horridly expensive.


18 posted on 11/10/2004 7:45:20 PM PST by SuziQ (Bush in 2004-Because we are Americans!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BikerNYC
But if demand went down for drugs in the US (because so many Americans were buying them in Canada) wouldn't that cause prices to go down in the US? All it would take is one company to buckle and sell their drugs at a lower price. Competitors would follow.

The price in the USA is what the drug company wants to charge, based on their revenue needs (for profit and R&D), and the competitive climate for that drug. US companies decide if they want to sell a decent amount of a drug to Canada, knowing that a lower price is demanded. As long as the variable product costs and some of the normal overhead allocation is covered, companies are willing to meet the demanded price. If not, some foreign company will do so.

As an earlier poster mentioned, you may not be getting what you think you bought from Canada, and there are many drugs from suspicious origins. It is NOT that you are only getting the US manufactured drug. The US companies might not sell to Canada over certain amounts, if they think that the drugs are coming back to the states in large numbers. Then the Canadians will require proof of resedency to get their drugs. There is no free lunch.

19 posted on 11/10/2004 7:46:40 PM PST by DmBarch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii; cynicom; cherry; RedLightBob
It has seemed obvious to me for a while now that Canada could NEVER supply ALL of the USA with the quantities of drugs they would need if these plans took off.

The FLU vaccine as an example... With Canada's entire population only ONE TENTH of the USA, they might have ordered enough of the vaccine for their own needs, but probably no more than 20% OVER their needs. And 20% of Canada's population would only be 2% of the US population.

Now if just a few border states like WA, MN, MI, NY try to get a portion of their drug needs from Canada, there might be enough. Make it a nationwide operation and they will quickly run out. The US drug companies KNOW how much Canada needs for their own citizens. They're not going to let them be middlemen to undercut their own sales in the USA.

Its more likely the drugs being sold mail-order to the USA will then largely be counterfeits made in Pakistan or Sudan.

20 posted on 11/10/2004 7:47:01 PM PST by Future Useless Eater (FreedomLoving_Engineer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ

I believe the drug purchasers have no recourse if the Canadian drugs are injurious.


21 posted on 11/10/2004 7:48:27 PM PST by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: xJones
Yes, Ujjal Dosanjh is a real person. I had lunch with him in September 1999 in Vancouver, BC as part of a junket by rail from Seattle to Vancouver and back for the Amtrak Reform Council.

They had one Canadian per table full of Americans to help stimulate conversation, and my table got Ujjal, who was then a provincial cabinet minister in British Columbia from the New Democratic Party. The NDP is to the left of our Democratic Party, even to the left of the Howard Dean wing.

It was a fascinating lunch.

22 posted on 11/10/2004 7:55:28 PM PST by Publius (Digital Minuteman)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DmBarch
Then the Canadians will require proof of resedency to get their drugs.

That's fine. Our government, however, should not interfere with Americans buying lawful products overseas.
23 posted on 11/10/2004 7:55:30 PM PST by BikerNYC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: RedLightBob

If drug companies don't give in to the price caps of other countries, the other countries won't honor the patents and will reproduce the drugs


24 posted on 11/10/2004 7:58:22 PM PST by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Publius
and my table got Ujjal, who was then a provincial cabinet minister in British Columbia from the New Democratic Party. The NDP is to the left of our Democratic Party, even to the left of the Howard Dean wing.

Thank you, a very informative report. I guess this doesn't bode well for the Americans using Canadian pharmacies.

25 posted on 11/10/2004 8:01:08 PM PST by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii

Fair enough. Does this mean we can elect to stop being the employment office for all of the world then?


26 posted on 11/10/2004 8:13:08 PM PST by stopillegalimmigration
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xJones

Ujjal Dosanjh is a native of India. He served as Premier of British Columbia and is a Liberal Party delegate from Vancouver.

"Dosanjh, who hails from Dosanjh Kalan, near Phagwara, and moved to Canada as a teenager, is a lawyer by profession and headed the NDP Government in British Columbia. After the last provincial elections a couple of years ago, he quit politics and joined the law practice of his two sons.

(from Tribune India, January 26, 2003)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030126/spectrum/main8.htm

IF YOU MUST KNOW.....


27 posted on 11/10/2004 8:39:31 PM PST by eagle11 (Conservatives are Red, Liberals are Blue.....let's come together so we can....?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ
I would like to know if the people in Canada who purchase prescriptions have the right to sue the drug manufacturers

I'm not sure but I do know settlements and awards by the courts are not as high as in the US . Advertising of drugs is not allowed in Canada and if you do a bit of research you'll find that all the big multinational drug companies spend more on advertising than they do on R& D. That and buying in bulk is a great advantage for both buyer and seller . Twenty year patents don't hurt either.

28 posted on 11/10/2004 8:49:27 PM PST by Snowyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604
Question: if a drug company X sells drug Y to a population of 300 million for 100% of their asking price, and they make profit P which we baseline as 100%. Then they have a secondary market of 10% of the 300 million and they have to sell it for, let's say, 30% of the above asking price. This secondary market will increase P from 100% to 103%.

For the additional 3% they incur the danger of alienating the original market, have people travel up there and therefore reduce P, have potential patent infringement and what not. Major risk management required which could, if it's going awry, ruin the company as a whole.

Why would any drug company be interested in that?

I think it is sheer greed. It's the same like airfare depending on the point of origin. A return flight from New York to Ireland is $1200 while the exact same flight booked in Ireland is $700.

Drug companies try to reap every cent they can. They rather take 3% additional profit than foregoing a market.
29 posted on 11/10/2004 9:48:00 PM PST by drtom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: jwalsh07

Every leak in the dike to bring down this house of cards helps. I am hoping it collapses during Bush's second term, so he rather than Hillary can address the fix.


30 posted on 11/10/2004 10:46:36 PM PST by Torie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604
Yeah. You touch on a really valid point.

The geo-political-economic pressures definitely are a factor here.

One of the greatest most positive [and underreported] things coming out of the tragedy of 9/11, was cheap AIDS drugs for Africa - caused by a similar dynamic.

Bob.
31 posted on 11/11/2004 6:11:18 PM PST by RedLightBob (God is smiling on US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson