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Safe medicines are available from abroad

On March 30, The Day published an Op-Ed by Peter Pitts, "Keep Canadian drugs out of U.S. medicine cabinets," arguing against U.S. citizens’ right to import medicine from Canada. The same day, NBC reported that the Trump administration asked India to lift restrictions and give the U.S. access to pharmaceutical ingredients to produce a range of drugs amid fears of a U.S. drug supply shortage prompted by the coronavirus. It is never wise to cut individuals off from medications, but this is a particularly dangerous time for such arguments.

Reports of big pharmaceutical companies trying to squeeze record profits from U.S. patients are commonplace. Unfortunately, those concerns haven’t dissipated during the coronavirus. Big Pharma opposes importation of safe and affordable drugs from Canada while begging the Administration to aid them in keeping their international supply chains open. The FDA estimates only 28% of active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facilities are U.S. based. Even Big Pharma knows that safe medicines are available abroad.

Americans should be able to import prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies. This is not a time for profiteering, selfish hoarding, nor denying individuals access to affordable medication. This is the time for problem solving.

Jack Pfeiffer

Executive director, Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation

Washington, D.C.

 

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