B.C. Ozempic rules put spotlight on cross-border drug sales

Vancouver –

The Canadian Pharmacists Association says protecting Canada’s drug supply from bulk exports to the U.S. market remains a priority in light of British Columbia’s recent move to restrict sales of Ozempic, a diabetes drug advertised as a weight-loss treatment. It is said that

The association’s vice president of public affairs, Joelle Walker, said the cross-border sale of Canadian medicines to Americans seeking lower prices has long been a problem for the nation’s healthcare system.

The concern, Walker said, is not the small number of Americans who buy cheap drugs across the border, but that the bulk of the drugs are being exported and diverted from Canada’s limited supply.

In the case of Ozempic, which is approved to treat type 2 diabetes, Walker said the internet and intense media coverage have increased demand for the weight-loss drug.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Tuesday after it was discovered that thousands of doses of Ozempic prescribed by one Nova Scotia practitioner were being sent to Americans by mail from B.C. He said he is calling on regulators to crack down on prescription rules. .

Walker said Ozempic’s online sales from Canadian pharmacies to non-residents also highlights how virtual service providers are proliferating, creating a “complicated” situation for policymakers and regulators. said.

The association continues to oppose large-scale plans that could cause Canadian medicines to be shipped across borders and potentially deny Canadians access to essential medicines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 30, 2023.

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