Skip to comments.Health minister warns that Canada cannot be 'the drug store of the United States'
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."
Don't you love it when a plan comes together?!
Indian name. Canada has a large Indian minority and they're doing quite well, politically at least.
I was thinking the exact same thing.
doesn't it just kill you to have to go begging to Canada for drugs that we manufacture here.....it does me.....
:-} 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.
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.
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.
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.
You were sarcastic, but you just gave a pretty good definition of brain dead Marxism.
I am not so sure. Besides "competition" is limited by way of patents which last for effectively 20 years.
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.
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.
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.
I believe the drug purchasers have no recourse if the Canadian drugs are injurious.
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.
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
Thank you, a very informative report. I guess this doesn't bode well for the Americans using Canadian pharmacies.
Fair enough. Does this mean we can elect to stop being the employment office for all of the world then?
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)
IF YOU MUST KNOW.....
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.
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.