Prescription Drug Importation
Protecting the US Drug Supply Chain
Caroline D. Juran, BSPharm, DPh (Hon), NABP Chairperson
Following the final rule approved by Trump Administration and published by Food and Drug Administration in 2020, states can now submit proposals to establish their own wholesale prescription drug importation program from Canada. While NABP understands the desire to decrease the costs of prescription drugs, states may face challenges while ensuring patient safety and securing the global supply chain. Continuing Chairperson Juran’s 2021 presidential initiative, NABP supports the boards of pharmacy and educates and protects the public about state drug importation plans.
There are three areas of focus for the initiative:
- providing guidance to state and federal governments and other policy makers on the risks associated with prescription drug importation and the necessary regulatory oversight process to help mitigate those risks;
- working with state and federal regulators to implement the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), including providing education and other tools to regulators and supply chain participants to assist in implementation; and
- educating the public about the risks associated with purchasing prescription drugs from unknown sources online and through social media.
Increasing awareness about state importation programs is necessary to maintain patient safety. More information about prescription drug importation can be found in the below resources.
- Read the Report of the Task Force on State Oversight on Drug Importation.
- Read President Juran’s blog post about how NABP can help states to safely develop drug importation plans.
- Explore the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration’s Safe Importation Action Plan describing the two pathways for lower cost medications for patients.
- Find resources from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), including a supply chain map, to help strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain and reduce risk.