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Canada eyeing implications of U.S. plan to allow imports of prescription drugs

Pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass. on June 15, 2018. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor's office says Canada is in touch with U.S. officials to discuss a decision to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Elise Amendola

OTTAWA — Canada’s health minister says the federal government is in touch with U.S. officials to discuss the Trump administration’s plan to allow imports of cheaper prescription drugs from north of the border.

In a statement, officials for Ginette Petitpas Taylor are describing the latest display of American interest in Canadian medication as further evidence of Canada’s commitment to more affordable prescription drugs.

The statement says Ottawa is constantly monitoring the Canadian drug supply, and will work closely with health experts to better understand the implications for Canadians and avoid any adverse effects on supply or drug costs.

The U.S. administration announced today it intends to set up a system that would allow Americans to legally import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.

A recent spike in U.S. interest in cheaper Canadian medication — it has become a central issue in the American election campaign — prompted more than a dozen organizations to urge Petitpas Taylor to safeguard the Canadian supply.

In a letter, the groups say Canada’s drug supply is simply not sufficient to support both the Canadian and the U.S. market.

The Canadian Press