More than 2 million Americans buy drugs from Canada either in bus caravans across the border or over the Internet, but that kind of bargain shopping could end soon if new regulations are put into place.
Canada's health minister is suggesting a plan to prohibit Canadian doctors from co-signing prescriptions for American patients they have not personally examined. Sounds like the idea is coming from Canada, but some health experts believe Canada is getting pressured by US drug manufacturers.
"You can bet that this is not the unilateral will of the Canadian government. This is the will of George Bush protecting the pharmaceutical industry forcing the Canadian government to capitulate to eliminate this industry and do the dirty work for him," says David McKay, with the Canadian Intern Pharmacy Association.
An HHS task force report released last month valued 2003 drug shipments from Canada at about $700 million dollars based on some 5 million shipments of about 12 million prescription drug products.