Canada on Saturday announced an export ban on certain drugs that may soon be in short supply, a move in response to the US plan to import drugs from its northern neighbor.
The plan, promoted by outgoing US President Donald Trump, was to allow pharmacists and wholesalers to import certain prescription drugs in bulk from Canada.
The US plan is aimed at lowering prices for Americans, but a time is coming when the Kovid-19 outbreak has increased demand for some drugs.
Canada’s ban took effect on Friday, its health ministry said, and “was intended to protect Canada’s drug supply from bulk imports that could exacerbate drug shortages in Canada.”
“Certain drugs destined for the Canadian market are prohibited from distribution for consumption outside of Canada if that sale results in or exacerbates a drug shortage,” the ministry said.
Canada supplied 68 percent of its drugs from overseas with a relatively small market, which was important to avoid supply disruptions, he said.
Drugs are cheaper in Canada than in the United States, although the price in Canada is higher than in other developed countries.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes the reins on Jan. 20, has spoken of allowing patients to import prescription drugs from other countries more cheaply as part of their plans.
The price of prescription drugs is a major political issue in the United States.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)