The Maple Peril And Government Inaction Essay
In the mid-1990s drugs manufactured in Canada were being imported into the United States. The driver behind these imports was the lower cost of drugs in Canada (Richert 2013). In 2004, Canada’s price review board estimated that on average Americans pay 67 percent more than Canadians for patented drugs (Richert 2013). One example, the antiretroviral drug ritonavir (Norvir) costs $700 per year in Canada and costs $7,800 per year in the United States (Richert 2013). From the uninsured American consumer’s standpoint, purchasing drugs from Canada was the only choice. Canadian drug manufacturers facilitated a strong relationship between Canada and the United States. Low drug prices in Canada are the result of market economics, bulk purchasing of provincial governments, and the price regulation by the Patented Medicines Price Review Board (PMRB) (Richert 2013) .
Due to the loss of revenue to Canadian imports, US drug officials tried to convince the American public that imports of pharmaceuticals were harmful to Americans and these practices undermined funding required for the research and development of new drugs (Richert 2013). Furthermore, it was argued that imported drugs fell outside the border of American regulation and were a peril to the well-being of Americans; consequently, pharmaceutical imports from Canada were named a “maple peril”.
The problem with Canadian drug imports was not strictly economical since allowing…