The importation of drugs from lower-priced countries, like Canada, was an idea brought up during the Clinton Administration as a way for consumers to bypass the high cost of prescription drugs in the US. The effect of allowing importation is essentially about the imposition of a foreign drug price control on the US market. The economic analysis of the adverse effects of price controls on R&D and the diffusion of new drug technology is well-documented. It was a bad idea during the Clinton Administration, and it is still a bad idea today. This commentary white paper provides reasons why importation is still a bad idea today, but more importantly, why the reintroduction of this policy is a reflection of the broader effort against the industry to control drug prices and what pharma companies need to do to prepare against this existential threat to their business.
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