WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of a proposed rule that would allow the importation of certain prescription drugs, David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, issued the following statement:
“We are glad the administration has cracked the door open to safe importation of drugs from Canada and other countries. But it’s not a solution that will lower drug prices for the overwhelming majority of Americans.
“We hope the administration will work with Congress to pass a comprehensive drug pricing reform package and finalize its international pricing index model, actions that would begin to address the fact that Americans pay two to three times more than citizens in other nations for the same drugs.”
- According to Canada’s acting ambassador to the United States, Canada represents 2 percent of global pharmaceutical consumption compared with the United States’ 44 percent. This raises questions about Canada’s ability to meet the demands of supplying drugs to the U.S. market.
- The administration’s notice of proposed rulemaking outlines two pathways for importation. The first pathway will guide importation efforts by states like Florida and Maine that passed importation laws during 2019 legislative sessions. The second pathway allows manufacturers to import foreign-made drugs under new drug codes — essentially releasing them from contractual obligations with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Since manufacturers perpetually blame PBM contracts for high list prices, this second pathway provides pharma with an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.
- Patients will not be allowed to import expensive biologic drugs such as insulin and Humira under the first pathway.