FDA, HHS allow states to import drugs from Canada

The FDA and HHS will now allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada, a move the White House says will bring Americans savings for their medications.

The final rule released by President Donald Trump's administration permits states to purchase drugs from Canada, which are often much cheaper than drugs manufactured in the U.S. since the country's laws put a cap on how much drugmakers can charge. States that have already sought federal permission to import drugs from Canada include Florida, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

The federal government has permitted the importation of prescription drugs since 2000, stipulating that HHS must certify the importation is safe. Such an event has never occurred until Sept. 23, when the department's secretary, Alex Azar, wrote a letter to lawmakers granting states permission to import drugs from Canada.

The American pharmaceutical industry has historically opposed importing drugs from other countries, as drugmakers often argue such practices would disrupt the country's supply chain and bring in counterfeit drugs.

The administration's final rule states that "such importation poses no additional risk to public safety and results in lower costs to American patients."

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