Canadian Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said yesterday his nation would seek a ban on bulk sales of patented medicines to the U.S. to prevent drug shortages in Canada.
"Canada cannot be the drug store for the United States of America," Dosanjh told reporters at a press conference in Ottawa yesterday. The Canadian department of health, Health Canada, will create a monitoring system to assess the drug supply and levy bans upon discovering shortages, he said.
Dosanjh also said he plans to introduce a law preventing doctors from prescribing drugs to patients they haven't met, a move designed to limit individual purchases by U.S. consumers purchasing drugs from Canadian online pharmacies.
Dosanjh stopped short of imposing an outright ban on the cross-border medication trade, leaving Canada's Internet pharmacy business unscathed for the moment and Americans free to continue purchasing low-cost drugs from north of the border.
"It is not my intention to kill the industry," he told reporters.