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Bernie Sanders visits Canadian pharmacy, talks drug prices

Bernie Sanders visits Canadian pharmacy, talks drug prices”

"Patients in Windsor and other Ontario border communities need assurance supplies of insulin and other prescription drugs will not be compromised by increasing cross-border importation by USA patients", said Coteau.

A vial of insulin which Type 1 diabetics use to regulate their blood sugar costs about USA $340 in the United States - roughly 10 times the Canadian price.

Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders is heading to Canada on Sunday with a caravan of Type 1 diabetes patients seeking cheaper insulin to highlight the "corruption" of pharmaceutical companies and the toll taken on Americans who can't afford the medicine. "We love our Canadian neighbours and we thank them so much, but we shouldn't have to come to Canada".

"We will do also what the Canadians do - they look around the world and they see what other countries are paying for various types of prescription drugs, and that is what they charge here in Canada", he said, noting that Americans must also emulate Canadians by regulating prescription drug prices. She became emotional as she shared that the six-month insulin they purchased in Canada cost about $1,000 - less than what a month of insulin would cost them in the United States.

Sitting in the back of a chartered bus organized by members of advocacy group Insulin4All, Sanders spoke to families who said they go to great lengths to ration their insulin because of high US costs, often putting their health at risk.

Sanders is pushing for reform in the United States that would cap the price of insulin and more aggressively prosecute companies caught fixing the price of medication.

He has long targeted pharmaceutical companies for the cost of prescription drugs, and he made a similar medication trip to Canada in 1999.

In Canada, he said, insulin is "one-tenth of the price".

While there are increasing concerns related to Canada's insulin supply in the face of the caravans, even seeing a letter backed by health organizations to the federal health minister warning of potential shortages, not everyone is anxious. "In Canada they can purchase it for $30", Sanders said in a tweet that day.

The group added that Canada's health care system is set to serve Canadians and are "not equipped to support to the needs of a country 10 times its size".

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is illegal in most cases for U.S. residents to import drugs into the United States for personal use, although FDA policy allows for some exceptions if the drug is for a serious condition, there's no commercialization or promotion of the drug or if the drug is not considered a risk.

Coteau highlights more than 20 pieces of U.S. federal and state level legislation this year that would allow wholesale or individual importation of drugs from Canada. "The supply simply does not, and will not, exist within Canada to meet such demands".



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