A number of state and municipal governments have encouraged American consumers to import prescription drugs from Canada as a way to lower drug costs. When operating through normal regulated distribution channels, Canada’s drug distribution system is very safe. But most Canadian mail-order distribution networks operate outside of regulated channels often relying on secondary or unlicensed or foreign suppliers. Safety issues, liability concerns and medical ethics are all impacted by the proliferation of unregulated importation of prescription drugs.

Chris Ward delivered the attached presentation to the National Council of Prescription Drug Programs:

1. Describes the main issues related to cross border importation
2. Explains the difference in the size of the pharmaceutical market between Canada and the U.S. and the implications for internet pharmacy.
3. Discusses how U.S. patients waive their right to protection under U.S. law when they purchase drugs from Canadian internet pharmacies.
4.  Appraises the factors that account for the difference in the price of drugs between Canada than the U.S.
5. Describes the impact of price controls on research and development.
6. Quantifies the impact of tort and liability in the U.S. on the price of health supplies and service.