Health Minister Mark Holland reiterated on Wednesday that there is “no way” Florida, or any other foreign jurisdiction, will be allowed to threaten Canada’s drug supply.

Speaking at a media conference in Nova Scotia, Holland was asked about what Canada plans to do to protect its drug supply in the face of a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to allow Florida’s to import bulk quantities of prescription drugs.

“There is no way we will allow any jurisdiction, be it the States, or another foreign jurisdiction to endanger the Canadian drug supply,” Holland said. “Where there’s any attempt to endanger our domestic supply of pharmaceuticals, we will not allow it.”

The statement comes after the FDA on Jan. 5 authorized Florida to import bulk pharmaceuticals from Canadian wholesalers as a way to avoid the high cost of drugs in that country.

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Florida gets FDA approval to import cheaper drugs from Canada

Days later, Health Canada released a statement saying it would take “all necessary action” to protect Canada’s drug supply and added it does not believe bulk importation will provide an effective solution to the problem of high drug prices in the U.S.

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While the FDA granted permission for Florida to acquire bulk quantities of pharmaceuticals from Canada, the federal Liberal government, in November 2020, enacted an interim order to limit the export of drugs at risk of shortage in Canada.

In addressing this, Holland emphasized Wednesday that there is still a provision for the “legitimate exportation” of drugs to the U.S. and worldwide. However, he clarified that if drug exportation poses a threat to Canada’s pharmaceutical supply, and then regulatory measures will be implemented to ensure it is not allowed.

He said he will be having a phone call with Xavier Becerra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary, about the ruling as well as an upcoming in-person visit to Washington.

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I’ll be emphasizing the point that, understandably, the U.S. has its challenges with its drug costs,” Holland said. “But we will not allow the U.S. at all to use Canada as a means of fixing that problem.”

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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