The Trump administration jumped right into a fight with drugmakers Wednesday by promising to allow the importation of cheaper medicine from Canada and other nations, advancing an idea the pharmaceutical business and lots of members of the president’s party have long opposed.
Trump’s health department Wednesday mentioned it could open up two pathways to let states and corporations test drug importing packages within the coming months, promising that modern drug distribution supply chains would allow federal drug regulators to ensure the merchandise’ safety.
It wasn’t clear how widely — or rapidly — importation would happen under the plan. However, the administration is keen to tout the idea as a part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to fight drug costs after recent setbacks to his agenda. Health and Human Providers Secretary Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive who until recently opposed importation, stated the new plan might enable People to access safe and cheaper medicine in some cases.
However, the pharmaceutical industry swiftly attacked the plan, citing Azar’s own words from just last year, when he called drug importation a “gimmick.”
“Rather than give up the safety of Individuals by importing failed polices from single-payer nations, we must always work on solutions here at home that might lower patient out-of-pocket prices at the pharmacy counter,” stated Stephen Ubl, CEO of Pharmaceutical Researchers and Producers of America, in an announcement.