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AMA’s Confusing Support for Personal Drug Importation from Canada

confusing AMAEarlier this month, the American Medical Association voted to support “in-person” personal drug importation from Canada so that patients can benefit from lower pharmacy costs. According to its press release, the new policy is a response to “intensified concerns that patient out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs have hampered access to needed medications.” To say the least! A survey, published in Axios, showed that about 90 million Americans did not fill a prescription because of cost last year.

It’s good that the AMA is supporting Americans filling orders in-person at Canadian pharmacies, but its support is so limited… to the extent that it’s hard to tell what if any impact AMA’s recommendation could have to help more patients. Furthermore, the association appears to be confused about existing law.

First, the AMA’s support does not include Internet or mail-order pharmacy purchases from Canada. In fact, it opposes personal drug importation through Internet purchases “until patient safety can be assured.” Therefore, its proposed policy is likely to help only those who actually live near Canada. (more…)

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