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Statement from Canada’s Acting Ambassador to the United States on U.S. Importation of Pharmaceutical Drugs from Canada

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December 18, 2019

Canada’s acting Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, issued the following statement today following an announcement by the U.S. Administration to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking that, if finalized, would allow for the importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada:

“We recognize that the debate about the importation of prescription drugs to the United States is complex.  It is important to be clear, however, that Canada is a key partner in helping to fund research and innovation, while also providing affordable prescription drugs for Canadians.”

“Canada’s public contribution to pharmaceutical R&D is comparable to or higher than most industrialised countries. It is no coincidence that leading edge research in regenerative, precision and next-generation medicine is done at Canadian research institutions, often in partnership with the largest international corporations.  A discovery made in Canada can generate value in the United States.  Stem cells, for example, were discovered in Canada and are at the center of research activities across the United States and Canada.”

“While safe and secure, the Canadian market is too small to have a real impact on U.S. drug prices. The U.S. consumes 44% of the global prescription drug supply, compared to Canada’s 2%.”

“Canada remains dedicated to working with the U.S. to improve our citizens’ health and well-being, recognizing that Canada’s priority is to ensure a steady and solid supply of medications at affordable prices for Canadians.”

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