The White House is working on a plan to allow U.S. consumers to import drugs from Canada, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNBC Tuesday. The goal is to allow Americans to “get the benefit of the deals that pharma themselves are striking with other countries,” Azar said, although he offered no details on how the plan would work.
Although some states allow it, it is currently illegal at the federal level for Americans to import drugs from other countries, where prices are typically lower than those in the U.S.
Canadian officials are reportedly concerned about available supplies and possible price increases driven by a surge in demand from the U.S., Reuters reported in June. A government briefing in April stated, “Canada does not support actions that could adversely affect the supply of prescription drugs in Canada and potentially raise costs of prescription drugs for Canadians.”