This paper researches the various aspects of importing Canadian Pharmaceuticals to the United States. Much has been written on this subject in the last year due to high cost of drugs, and healthcare generally in the United States. There has been a number of congressional bills that would facilitate the importation of Canadian drugs into the United States.
The driving force behind this subject is the difference in prices between certain drugs sold in Canada versus the United States. The price difference is based on the different types of price regulation in the two countries. American patented medicine costs are the highest in the world1. Canada requires, among other things, that prices for medications be" no higher than the median of the price for the same drug charged in seven other countries: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States1." This results in the difference in prices for these controlled medications to be, on average, 69% lower North of the border1.
This price driving force creates a massive opportunity that will be explored in this paper.
Market Size, growth potential and Current Import Levels:
With the aging of the baby boomer generation, the advance of medications, and the general increase in disposable income for many, the demand for life-enhancing pharmaceuticals creates a vast market. Estimates are that the total market is in the $50 Billion dollar range2 and is growing with the average age of the population.
Although importation on a grand scale is not possible, as will be discussed, small-scale importation is a vast market and growing rapidly. According to one website, "as many as 1 million Americans purchase between $500 million and $1 billion dollars worth of Canada-origin medicines."
Of course, the vast difference between the total domestic...