Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Trump Administration ‘Opens Pathway’ on Drug Imports From Canada

A year after calling proposals allowing Americans to import cheaper drugs from Canada a “gimmick,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the federal government is “open for business” on such a strategy.

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Azar announced a preliminary plan Wednesday to allow Americans to import certain lower-cost drugs from Canada. Insulin and other biological drugs, controlled substances and intravenous drugs would not be included. The plan relies on states to come up with proposals for safe importation and submit them for federal approval.

Tyrone's Commentary:

Drug Utilization is more complicated than just the days supply or units being dispensed. Utilization also considers the sites or channels (i.e. retail, specialty etc.) from which prescription drugs are being dispensed and that is just for starters. I would also argue drug utilization is measured, at least in part, by the country from which prescription drugs are procured. If you are self-funded employer and aren't at least considering Canada as an alternative source from which to procure prescription drugs, what are you waiting for?
    
Under a second option, manufacturers could import versions of FDA-approved drugs from foreign countries and sell them at a lower cost than the same U.S. versions. This appears to be a way drugmakers could avoid some of the contracts they have with drug middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit managers.

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