Canadian Drugs

Published January 1, 2004

If you think all the prescription drugs coming from Canada were originally manufactured in the United States, I have bad news.

Canada gets only 60 percent of its prescription drug supply from the United States. Canada itself manufactures only a very small percentage of generic prescription drugs for its own use. Canada gets the remaining 40 percent from countries around the world.

As more of us buy more drugs from Canadian pharmacies, and as they run short of supplies for their own citizens, where do you think they will turn for new drug sources? Drug imports, sold through Canada, come from Mexico, Lebanon, Turkey, Haiti, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Africa and … well, you get the idea.

Many of these countries are not friendly towards the United States and do not have high-quality pharmaceutical industries, leading a reasonable person to question what it is they are sending to Canada … and what, in turn, are Canadian pharmacies sending us?

The idea promoted by many governors and legislators to legalize the re-importation of drugs from Canada amounts to a plan to place consumers in harm’s way while aiding and abetting the importation of adulterated and contaminated medicines from foreign countries.

You may save a little money, but the greater price you pay is in financing those who care nothing about your safety or our public health.

IT’S YOUR HEALTH is written by Conrad Meier, senior fellow in health policy at The Heartland Institute. This program is produced as a public service by Radio America. Meier passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2005.