New pathways for U.S. importation threaten Canadian prescription drug supply.

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Marv Shepherd, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, College of Pharmacy, University of Texas at Austin.


Within recent months, the U.S. has opened up the possibility for Americans to import prescription pharmaceuticals from Canada. The U.S. FDA is now accepting proposals for both personal and commercial drug importation from Canada. Importers can be individuals, wholesalers, pharmacies, and governments. This research examines the impact U.S. drug importation will have on the Canadian prescription drug supply. It updates the author's previous 2018 and 2010 studies on the same topic. The results showed that the 2018 Canadian prescription drug supply will last approximately 165 days if 20% of U.S. prescriptions were sourced from Canada.  When a 10% safety inventory was added, it was estimated that the Canadian pharmaceutical supply will be exhausted in 182 days or approximately six months.  A 40% demand from the U.S. shows a prescription drug supply of 118 days before Canadian drug stores are exhausted of their 2018 pharmaceutical supply. 

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