Canada prohibits exports of various drugs to the United States |...

The Canadian government announced on Saturday (28) the ban on exporting several drugs to the United States, including those used to treat covid-19, if these sales cause or exacerbate a shortage in Canada.

This ban comes shortly before the introduction, on Monday (30), of a reform driven by Donald in the United States to allow the importation of medicines in order to lower prices in his country.

This will in particular allow pharmacists and wholesalers to import certain prescription drugs in bulk for the Canadian market, the Canadian Ministry of Health explained in a statement.

This measure “received significant support from states in the United States and any adoption by the industry would exacerbate the current problem of drug shortages in Canada,” he added.

1 of 1 Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu speaks to parliament – Photo: Reuters

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu speaks to parliament – Photo: Reuters

“Our health care system is a symbol of our national identity and we intend to protect it,” said Patty Hajdu, Canada’s health minister, when announcing the adoption of the decree.

Canada is a small market, representing 2% of drug sales worldwide, compared to 44% in the United States.

However, the country obtains 68% of its medicines abroad, according to the ministry.

Since 2017, almost half (44%) of medicines sold in Canada have been scarce “at least once,” Health Canada said.

The Covid-19 pandemic increased the demand for some drugs, making it even more difficult to maintain supplies as needed.

Canada’s largest city returns to confinement on Monday

The executive order covers all drugs that can enter the United States in bulk, as well as all that are used to treat covid-19, biological products and controlled substances.

The ban applies to pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers and distributors authorized to sell in Canada.

These companies will also have to provide information to the ministry so that it can assess the risk of scarcity in Canada.

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