ASHP and Pharmacy Partners Raise Concerns About State Drug Importation Plans

Published: January 17, 2024

Today, ASHP and nearly 75 other pharmacy organizations raised serious concerns about state plans to import drugs from Canada.

On Jan. 5, Florida became the first state to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its drug importation plan. By law, the FDA may approve these plans only if they reduce consumers’ costs without putting patients at risk.

In today’s joint statement, ASHP and its partners noted such importation programs would do little to lower medication prices but could pose significant risks to patient safety.

“As pharmacists, we are on the front lines protecting our nation’s drug supply chain and ensuring the delivery of safe and effective medicines to our patients,” the statement says. “State importation programs introduce several opportunities for mix-ups, mishandling, mislabeling, and other rogue activity that would place some of our most vulnerable patient communities at risk.”

ASHP and other pharmacy organizations have been working for more than a decade to implement the Drug Supply Chain and Security Act (DSCSA), a law that requires tracing of drugs through the supply chain. DSCSA establishes protections and requires documentation to ensure the medications are legitimate — stringent requirements that Canada does not have.

ASHP and its partners will continue to work with FDA to implement meaningful and safe solutions to support medication access.

Posted January 17, 2024

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