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US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pledges to allow Americans to import drugs from Canada

Published on 02/08/19 at 09:49am

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has said he will, on his first day in office, allow for the importation of prescription drugs from Canada to the United States.

“On day one of my administration, I will direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and FDA Commissioner to allow pharmacists, wholesalers and patients to purchase FDA approved prescription drugs from Canada,” Sanders said.

“There is no rational reason why insulin and other life-saving medications should cost ten times more in the United States than Canada.”

The move comes after President Donald Trump edged towards allowing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada.  The move saw the US Department of Health and Human Services propose a rule which would allow states and other groups to pursue pilot programmes to allow for the importation of drugs from Canada.

The new ruling would also allow drugmakers to bring drugs that are sold more cheaply in foreign countries into the United States. The opportunity is however one that companies will be unlikely to embrace as there is little incentive for them to sell their drugs for less.

Sander’s initiative would thus be more far reaching than Trump’s, in allowing patients, pharmacists and wholesalers to freely import prescription drugs. The Vermont Senator also announced a ruling which would break drug companies’ patents on drugs that are not available on “reasonable terms.”

“The greed and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry is killing Americans,” Sanders said. “When I am President, starting on my first day in office, that greed and corruption will come to an end.”

Louis Goss

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