Importation is a common practice in the business world since time immemorial. People exchanged goods and services from one region to another. Both sides benefited from this form of trade activity that has been taking place globally with the improved technology that has made the world a global village. When it comes to drugs and food, however, different nationalities have different rules and regulations that control the way food and drugs are manufactured and supplied to the people. In the USA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the body that regulates the supply of medicine to the people. It is the organization’s duty to ensure that the citizens are provided with safe and high quality drugs that meet the desired effect when administered.
Basing on the past experiences, the former FDA commissioners are significantly warning against a move by President Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders to allow drugs to be imported to the US from Canadian manufacturers. Although the move is supposed to provide cheaper medicine to the citizens, according to the former commissioners who served during Obama and George Bush’s time, it will also pose a very high safety risk to the consumers. In the past, people have bought counterfeit drugs that led to various loss of lives. Internet pharmaceutical stores sell medications that are not necessarily manufactured in Canada or Europe even if they state so on their websites. Most of the drugs come from Mexican industries and risks the health of the American citizen.
Although regulating the quality of drugs manufactured in Canada to be imported to the US is possible, it is also tough to ensure that all the requirements are met. The closed system of drugs in the US may be expensive, but it safeguards the health of all citizens. Bringing drugs from Canada may end up being as expensive as the US drugs while risking the health of people because this will open other channels of backdoor drug markets sprouting from all over the country.
The commissioners, Robert Califf, Margaret Hamburg, Andrew von Eschenbach and Mark McClellan, have expressed their concerns saying that regulating drugs from overseas will be a big task for FDA. They insist that the move will translate to higher drug prices instead of the conventional cheap imported drugs. The cost of human resources that will be employed in the manufacturing plants to monitor the quality and safety of drugs will be too high for ordinary citizens to afford. In their opinion, buying the drugs overseas is a significant risk and not a solution to the people.