Oh, Canada! our dream come true drug supplier

Watching the vice presidential debates. I was mostly doing other things, until I heard Edwards say something like

‘This administration voted against buying drugs from Canada. The current administration sided WITH the drug companies. We will bring drugs in from Canada. We are for the american people.’

This started me yelling.


this drugs are cheaper in canada dealy drives me crazy. Are these guys so short-sighted? Let’s think about this…

Drugs in Canada are cheaper. The same exact drugs! Isnt’ that great! We can just get the same exact drugs from the same exact companies, and just FOOL them into giving them to us cheaper. Because we will get them from Canada. And the drug companies can’t do a thing about it! How great is that! We’ll save SCADS of money.

Maybe this is just an indication that politicians are not very good businessmen. But I think the drug companies of the world, who operate in a free market, would find a way to cover their costs.

Why does canada have cheaper rates? THey’ve taken pains to keep then that way. Canada has a different idea of government prerogatives in medicine.

Is America willing to put caps on the prices of drugs the way that Canada does? Is America, meaning american lawmakers and policy creators, willing to do the hard work of coming up with a workable, sustainable plan for medicine that reflects our american values?

It looks like America isn’t willing to do either. We want the wal-mart approach. Don’t ask what it took to buy sneakers for $6.86, just buy then for all your kids and congratulate yourself on a good deal.

Taking drugs from Canada has major implications. It skews up a trade balance, and puts the drug companies in a new and potentially unprofitable position. Pharmacuetical and biotech companies are some of the few sectors that are still doing okay. Do we need to F* with that, all oblivious of the consequences? aren’t we a little concerned about the health of industry and job generation in america?

Not only that, but all this great research and new treatments for all kinds of things are paid for by the red white and blue. Ask any drug salesguy. Are drugs expensive here? Sure, Some of them are. Are we living longer and being stronger than before? Yes, Decades longer. Do we want to cut off this system that has resulted in amazing advances?

Going shopping in Canada for drugs is a sorry excuse for not taking care of business at home. It’s big deal; the need for medicine is not going to go away. We need to face it and come up with a good plan.

3 thoughts on “Oh, Canada! our dream come true drug supplier

  1. Murphy-

    You knew this post would draw a response from me!

    The main reason that Canada can have drug price controls is that it is a small market relative to the US. If Canadian drugs (and hence Canadian prices) were exported freely to the US, the drug companies would have every incentive to control the quantity sold to Canada. Every drug bought cheaply by an American elder from Canada would be a drug denied to a Canadian elder. The political pressure in Canada to limit drug exports, then, would be enormous. I’m not sure why this has not already happened, but I suspect it has to do with the fact that it would be a bit costly (in terms of PR, for example) to drug companies to do this, and with the current reimportation ban, the benefits just aren’t that large.


  2. I was thinking about how that worked, supply and demand, exportation etc. But my google search didn’t bring evidence for it, so I thought I would leave it alone.

    Yes, I did know you would respond! And I’m glad you did. I think your line of work (field of study?) is really really important at this time in history. Health care is THE issue of this century, and the system is sick.

    We can continue the current path of research and development of new medicines, and that’s good. But the distribution system of those products and medical care is breaking down.

    So, you as the health care economist are really vital to healing the nation. Keep doing what you do.

    Anyway, I appreciate your comment.

  3. Just Say No to Drugs!

    ~A Concerned Co-Worker~
    “Providing simple answers to some of life’s most perplexing problems.”