August 2, 2019 6:00 am

‘Bad news’: Manitoba pharmacists push back against Trump cheap drug plan

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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A U.S. plan to allow American patients to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada is rubbing a lot of Canadian pharmacists the wrong way, including here in Manitoba.

Barrett Procyshyn, past-president of Pharmacists Manitoba, told 680 CJOB that the proposed system is ‘surprising and disappointing’.

“To be honest, I’m a little bit worried,” said Procyshyn, who is based in Dauphin.

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“There’s a lot of people in the United States on a lot of medication, and Canada doesn’t have the inventory to supply a lot of Americans with medications.

“There are shortages across Canada right now and around the world. I’ve been a pharmacist for 10 years in an independent, community pharmacy and have never seen our back order list so big. So this is pretty worrisome.”

READ MORE: ‘Solve the problem at home’: U.S. plan to import cheaper drugs from Canada draws criticism

Procyshyn said despite being in Dauphin – which isn’t close enough to the border to attract pharmaceutical tourists from the U.S. – his pharmacy wouldn’t be immune to the potential crisis.

“It all comes from a wholesaler in Winnipeg, or in western Canada … and if the wholesaler runs out, nobody gets it, and that’s bad news.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently permits Americans to bring medication for personal use across the border, but not more than a three-month supply.

The Trump administration’s proposal – announced by by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday – would allow states, wholesalers and pharmacists to get FDA approval to import certain medications that are also available in the U.S.

WATCH: Winnipeg vets warn against buying pet meds online

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