On Wednesday the Trump administration unveiled a plan to import drugs from Canada in an effort to lower prescription prices, a follow-up on the initiative announced in July.
The plan allows two routes for importing prescription drugs. In the first proposed rule, states could develop programs to purchase drugs from Canada at a cheaper price, as the country sets price ceilings, reports The Washington Post. Such programs would require federal approval, and the drugs would have to be approved by both Canadian and U.S. standards.
In the second, drug manufacturers could import cheaper versions of their drugs to the U.S. from “any country under certain conditions,” per the Post.
Multiple states have shown interest, but trade groups oppose the plan and don’t think it will cut costs, reports Reuters.
Officials don’t have a timeline to estimate when the new rules could take effect, and predictions on possible savings are not available, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the Post.
In November, Kristen Hillman, Canada’s acting ambassador to the U.S., told officials that Canada represents just 2 percent of global pharmaceutical consumption, compared to the U.S.’s 44 percent. She warned that Canada’s market is too small to have any impact on U.S. drug prices, and exporting to the U.S. may cause drug shortages for Canadians. Taylor Watson