The American president has gone against the advice of senior officials in his own party and endorsed a controversial Florida proposal to import drugs from Canada.
“And now [drug prices are] going to be going down a long way further, including the fact that we may allow states to buy drugs in other countries if we can buy them for a lesser price — substantially less price,” Trump said last week at a White House event. “So we will allow them, with certain permissions, to go to other countries if they can buy them for 40, 50, 60 percent less.”
While the move is sure to anger the Republican establishment, it could increase support for Trump among middle and lower class voters who currently pay massive sums for medication. According to a CTV article, Americans pay up to 190 percent more for prescription drugs than other Western countries.
While president Trump’s plan could have a populist draw, many critiques have warned that the plan will not work due to Canada’s size.
With a population of only 37 million, Canada does not have the market size to also sell drugs to the United States, especially when a large portion of Canada’s medicine is actively imported from Europe and the United States.
For the majority of drugs supplied by manufacturers outside of Canada, there would be no guarantee of an increased supply being shipped to Canada – knowing full well that it will be re-shipped to the U.S. to compete in a different market.
As broken down in Forbes, the likely reality would be empty shelves in Canadian pharmacies, and anger many Canadians.
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