FDA Using ‘Lighter Touch’ on Canadian Prescription Drug Imports, Crawford Says
FDA is using a "lighter touch" in its efforts to stop cities and states from purchasing lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford said recently in an interview with the Associated Press, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. Crawford said that the agency will continue to evaluate programs on an individual basis. He noted that many cities and states are using the same Web sites and Canadian pharmacies to fill prescriptions.
Crawford said, "As long as they're coming from Canada, and as long as they're from drugstores that we have some experience with, then we would have a lighter touch probably." He added, "But if it escalates and there are other countries, or if there are some events that occur, that could change over night." Crawford said that the agency would likely only take legal action "in the event of a public health event or one that we think is imminent." He added, though, that FDA will not approve any pilot programs to import drugs from Canada. FDA has "consistently" told city and state authorities that reimporting medications from Canada is "illegal and unsafe," but the agency has "done little to stop governments that set up programs" -- instead, it has sent warning letters and held meetings to point out the risks, the AP/Sun reports (Baldor, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 8/16).