Prescription drug imports from Canada create “murky water,” pharmacy owner says

Jan 8, 2024, 9:58 AM | Updated: 10:09 am

Prescription drugs spill out of an orange bottle and onto a paper that reads "RX." A pen lies on th...

Prescription drugs spill out of an orange bottle and onto a paper that reads "RX." (Canva)


SALT LAKE CITY — The Food and Drug Administration gave Florida approval to prescription drug imports from Canada. 

According to Florida Gov. DeSantis’ office, the state plans to import cheaper drugs from Canada. It will save Floridians “up to $180 million in the first year,” according to the governor’s office. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures said that seven other states have applied for approval of their proposed prescription drug importation programs. 

Hal Roe, the owner of Ogden’s Roe Family Pharmacy, hopes Utah isn’t next to get approval for prescription drug imports.  

“It’s a way deeper, murkier water than just ‘oh my gosh, Canada’s drugs are cheaper,’ because…you’re dealing in two different health systems, two different financial structures [and] two different legal systems,” said Roe.

Additionally, Roe said the U.S. and Canada have very different healthcare systems. 

According to Roe, Canadian law does not allow people to sue pharmaceutical companies for malpractice. In the United States, however, allows it. Legal defense costs are built into drug prices. 

Roe said that he worries those who experience negative side effects won’t be able to take legal action. 

Mariah Maynes contributed to this article. 

Related: FDA approves first state request to import drugs from Canada

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Prescription drug imports from Canada create “murky water,” pharmacy owner says