Imported Drugs from Canada: The Right Prescription?

US Politicos Weigh Options to Circumvent Sky-High Prices

Canada takes longer and approves fewer drugs for consumption than the United States. (Pexels)

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has proposed to import drugs from Canada to increase affordability, and he is far from alone. Politicians in 17 US states have considered and promoted similar measures. Indeed, Vermont passed a law last year, and the Florida House followed suit in late April to deliver low-cost pharmaceuticals imported from Canada for state programs.

President Donald Trump has shared his support for the idea and asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Aznar and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to consider further options to reduce drug prices. However, to come into effect, the new legislation needs federal approval, scheduled for July 2020. This will follow a study on how to import cheaper pharmaceuticals that meet federal safety standards.

Backgrounder Content

  • What quantity of gray-market drugs flow from Canada to the United States?
  • How could President Donald Trump open this up to legal trade?
  • Does Canada have the capacity to serve the US population?
  • How costly is the US research and development process for bringing drugs to market?
  • How much drug research and innovation does Canada offer?

(Download the PDF, five pages)


Prepared in collaboration with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

Paz Gómez

Paz Gómez

Paz Gómez is the Antigua Report policy analyst. She is cofounder and academic coordinator of Libre Razón, a liberal think tank in Quito, Ecuador. She holds a bachelor's degree in international relations and political science from San Francisco University of Quito, with a minor in translation. Follow @PazenLibertad.

More Posts

Leave a Reply