Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Canadian drug distributors say no to Trump import plan

Stock MarketsDec 20, 2019 04:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 

By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - Many of Canada's drug suppliers cannot, or will not, agree to ship cheaper prescription medicines into the United States, a new challenge to the Trump administration's push to reduce drug prices, companies and industry officials told Reuters.

The administration on Wednesday proposed new regulations that would allow states to import prescription drugs from Canada. They would require a state such as Florida to partner with a wholesaler licensed by Health Canada, which regulates drugs.

Florida and other states have said they are eager to start importation programs, and the proposal took the federal government one step closer to approving that plan. But there are practical barriers to actually bringing in drugs.

Two drug distributors and two Canadian industry groups that between them represent all of the potential suppliers named in a proposal published by Florida in August said they are not interested in participating.

"We have not been contacted and we are not planning to participate," said Loblaw Companies Ltd (TO:L), which owns Canada's largest pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart. "Canadian patients currently face product and drug shortages and we are concerned this initiative may exacerbate what is already a critical issue."

Daniel Chiasson, president of the Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management (CAPDM), said none of its members would participate because their first priority was ensuring a safe and stable supply of medication for Canadians.

"It surprised everyone when their names appeared on that list," said Chiasson.

Mary Mayhew, secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, said she was "excited and enthusiastic" about Wednesday's announcement.

"We are optimistic that Canadian suppliers will be interested, as the rule is understood, as there is more dialogue around this new and historic federal action," she said.

Chiasson said agreements between manufacturers and distributors prevent the export of products made for the Canadian market, creating a commercial risk and deterrent to exporting.

"These are issues we continue to consider and are committed to exploring how we might overcome any challenges and issues as we advance the proposed rule," U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokesman Michael Felberbaum said in a statement.

Some of Canada's major distributors are subsidiaries of U.S. companies, who are unlikely to participate in a program to lower prices, since their revenue reflects a cut of the value of the drugs they provide to pharmacies in the much larger U.S. market.

McKesson Canada, a subsidiary of McKesson Corp (N:MCK) referred questions to Chiasson. The organization is also a listed member of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Canada, a lobby group that opposes drug exports to the United States.

AmerisourceBergen (N:ABC) said that protecting bottom lines was not the issue, because importation implied that distributors could buy low-cost drugs and sell them in high-cost markets.

"The reality is that legal and contractual barriers, as well as significant threat to the integrity of the supply chain, all stand in the way of importation being a viable solution," it said in a statement.

Kohl & Frisch, a large closely-held distributor, did not respond to requests for comment. Metro Inc (TO:MRU) which owns major pharmacy chain Jean Coutu, declined to comment.

One company on Florida's list is not a distributor in any traditional sense, but makes self-serve pharmacy kiosks that resemble vending machines. They confirmed they would have no role in any import plan.

The remaining companies are members of the Association québécoise des distributeurs en pharmacie, which takes the same position as CAPDM.

"Our members have no intention to sell drugs across the border, particularly in light of the rapidly increasing drug shortages in the Québec marketplace," said Director General Hugues Mousseau in a statement.

Canadian drug distributors say no to Trump import plan
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Dec 20, 2019 4:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
okay Canada, saying bo gets prices changed here. This will influence WW prices. The drug companies that disagree will be impacted negatively as forms of regulation legislation are passed. Tpu had a chance of agreeing to this slowly.
Randy Randy
randy00 Dec 20, 2019 4:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Gobbledegook. Talk much?
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Dec 20, 2019 4:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Back to the basment kid. Ask your folks for a loan to get a new PS3 game. Maybe they'll give you an Xbox for Christmas? Good luck...
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Dec 20, 2019 4:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
BTW, that was for you Randy. I honestly didn't mean to offend if you were. You in US? You a J.B. fan? That word is akin to Malarkey from long ago.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email