Canada wants to slow down efforts to ease drugs going to U.S.

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it was weighing plans to allow for the legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada, but pharmacists, patient groups, doctors, and some lawmakers in that country worry that the large-scale importation of pharmaceuticals could deplete the drug supply for its 37 million residents.

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it was weighing plans to allow for the legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada, but pharmacists, patient groups, doctors, and some lawmakers in that country worry that the large-scale importation of pharmaceuticals could deplete the drug supply for its 37 million residents. "This is going to exacerbate some of the drug shortages that we're already seeing in Canada," said Joelle Walker, the vice president of public affairs for the Canadian Pharmacists Association. "We aren't equipped to deal with a country that is 10 times our size." She said such measures could also increase the prices of drugs for Canadians. Health Canada, the federal public-health ministry, reports there are 1,846 drug shortages and 65 anticipated shortages in the country. Causes include increased demand, shortages of ingredients, and delays in shipping. "The Canadian medicine supply is not sufficient to support both Canadian and U.S. consumers," the Canadian Medical Association and 14 other groups representing patients, health care professionals, pharmacists, and hospitals wrote last week to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. "The supply simply does not, and will not, exist within Canada to meet such demands."