Health Canada has announced a policy to restrict exports of key drugs at risk of shortages, partly in response to the risk they might be exported to the USA.
Patty Hadju, Minister of Health, said:
“Our health care system is a symbol of our national identity and we are committed to defending it. The actions we are taking today will help protect Canadians’ access to the medication they rely on.”
The Interim Order came into effect on 27 November 2020. An end date was not made clear at the time of writing.
Reuters described that:
“The Canadian measure went into effect on Friday, just days before a U.S. ‘Importation Prescription Drugs’ rule that would eventually allow licensed U.S. pharmacists or wholesalers to import in bulk certain prescription drugs intended for the Canadian market.”
In addition to the prohibition of export of certain drugs, manufacturers are now bound to inform Health Canada of any imminent or existing shortages: “when requested, and within 24 hours if there is a serious or imminent health risk.”