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Cheaper Canadian drug imports continue to be seized by the FDA

Published on 23/04/20 at 11:41am
Photo by FDA

Seizures of Canadian drugs being sent to American patients have been stepped up by the FDA.

This is according to workers in stores in Florida which usually facilitate the transactions. This is distressing patients with chronic conditions and the elderly who are trying to stay home during the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Gabriel Levitt, co-founder of PharmacyChecker.com, a company that verifies international pharmacies, said that the lockdown could be related to the seizures as authorities work to scrutinize shipments of substandard medications and hand sanitizers being imported to help combat the pandemic.

About 2% of Americans buy their medication from Canada or other countries overseas. This year, the Trump administration has been working with states like Colorado and Florida to set up a system to help more Americans import cheaper Canadian drugs.

This follows the administration’s legislation in December which created a pathway to allow drug companies to use a new National Drug Code (NDC) to sell these Canadian drugs in the United States. Not all drugs are included with insulin being the most high profile example.

The FDA says that in many cases, importing drugs for personal use is illegal although it usually only intercepts a fraction sent by mail.

Bill Hepscher, the co-owner of Canadian MedStore, told Salon that 200 of his customers had their drugs seized since the beginning of March, and they had to reorder their medication or pay more expensive local prices.

Conor Kavanagh

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