The Governor of Montana, following a line of other politicians over the years, is promoting the idea of that state purchasing drugs for publicly run health care programs from Canada . However, for a number of reasons, such ideas have never gained any traction.
The position of the FDA has been rather clear, Canadian drugs are not US NDC (National Drug Code) products, and therefore are adulterated versions of the drugs they purport to be. Since the source of the drugs is not the US regulatory system, the drugs are “potentially” dangerous. As we pointed out on a previous posts (click: here and here), the actual danger was largely caused by Canadian and US drug officials themselves.
In reality, though, the name brand drugs being used by Canadians are in fact the very same drug as are offered in the United States , only in Canada the drugs are cheaper due not only market forces, but also government price controls. Americans pay more for drugs because the United States does not have any government restrictions on prices. Intellectual property rights in Canada and the US protect the right of one manufacturer to control the price of a name brand drug, therefore the price is what the market will bear; and Americans are generally willing to pay more for their name brand drugs than to allow the government to regulate commerce in the way Canada does.