Drug reimportation: Where are the dead Canadians?

A common retort in the debate over drug reimportation is “Where are the dead Canadians?”

If the FDA deems that import of drugs from Canada is potentially dangerous, why aren’t Canadians dying from drugs they buy in Canada? Well, there’s an answer to that: Most Canadians buy their drugs from drugstores, not over the Internet. Individuals buying drugs from Internet pharmacies based in Canada or elsewhere are, in fact, at risk. The level of scrutiny and the ability to trace supply chains simply isn’t as rigorous as it is for pharmacies with strong national brands and physical stores.

So where are the dead Canadians? Here’s one: Marcia Bergeron succumbed to a combination of fake drugs acquired over the Internet.

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  1. Jack Gordon
      July 13, 2007

    It always disappoints me when someone with an obvious financial interest in Big Pharma writes up some nonsense like this. Marcia Bergeron died because she ordered controlled substances from an illegitimate provider that does not even require a prescription and who is located outside of Canada. The “where are the dead Canadians?” question is raised in the debate about permitting Americans to import drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies that are regulated and certified by their respective Provincial boards of Pharmacy.

    It is obvious that anyone who takes controlled drugs from a unlicensed and rogue internet site is playing with their life but it is just as obvious that anyone who orders from a legitimate Canadian pharmacy is only harming Big Pharma’s bloated profits.

    There has yet to be a single reported case of harm to any person ordering from the legitimate Canadian providers of the sort that I have mentioned above or from any provider located in Canada, and that includes the Bergeron case. Counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals is a far bigger problem within the United States than it is in Canada.

    So I ask again, “where are the dead Canadians?”

  2. Carolyn
      February 12, 2008

    I am researching drug reimportation. I find this all very interesting.

    Your argument about anyone who takes controll druges from rogue internet sites is interesting. I have yet to find any information on how to determine whether the site is rogue.

    You say there has been no harm to Canadians. Can you tell me what percentage of Canadians purchase drugs via the internet?

    My final question is, if the pharmaceutical companies supply both the US and Canada, at some point the prices will level off. Will that create some sort of flash point in Canada? Is the untimate goal, price controls in the US? If so, why not push for that rather than allowing questionable internet pharmacies access to US citizens?