Canada – Canadian drug lobby pushes curbs on exports to US

Canada’s main pharmaceutical lobby group has urged the government not to wait for drug shortages before responding to U.S. plans to import Canadian drugs, according to documents seen by Reuters.

The talking points were prepared last month by Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) for its staff and member companies, before the Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it would allow U.S. states and other groups to start pilot programs importing cheap drugs from Canada in an effort to lower drug costs.

In one early version of its talking points, the IMC proposed the Canadian government ban all drug exports “unless otherwise permitted by regulation.”

“Wholesalers should not be permitted to export drugs in bulk from Canada, and there should be strict and significant penalties for exporting drugs where their export is prohibited by law,” a document prepared in May said.

It warned that “reliance on reactive measures after shortages occur may pose a risk to Canadian patients.”

Asked about the possibility of an export ban, IMC said in a statement: “This is not part of our current positioning shared with our members. That said, we believe the government has tools that could be used to prevent shortages.”…