TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Despite what you may see and hear, the debate over importing prescription medications from Canada isn’t as simple as it's made to sound.
“It sounds great. Let Canadians come in because it is going to be cheaper and save our people money. Making it happen is a completely different story,” said Dan Fucarino, owner of the Carrollwood Pharmacy.
Consider questions opponents of importing medications have raised, that may or may not have concrete answers:
1. Is Canada going to just let Floridians cut into their drug supply? (Florida’s population is about half of their entire country.)
2. How much will regulation and import costs cut into the savings?
3. Are the medicines safe?
To that third one, Fucarino says not always.
“That’s the kinds of medications that counterfeits are going to come in the more expensive medications more likely you’re going to receive that,” he said.
On the other hand, the potential savings of hundreds of dollars per prescription can’t be ignored.
”For HIV drugs, for chronic disease drugs including perhaps drugs for diabetics, it can make a real difference in their pocketbook,” said Jay Wolfson, Associate Vice President of USF Health.
Also, many people are already using prescription medicines from Canada.
”The bottom line is we need to get more drugs to individuals at an affordable price,” said FOX 13’s Dr. Jo.
In a nutshell, importing drugs may not be a magic-pill cure-all, but perhaps, like a regular pill, it may take time and have positive benefits in the end.