Cheaper Canadian drugs could flood the state with counterfeits, group says

As many people struggle to afford the medication they need, a group said the governor’s plan to bring our prescription costs down leaves us all at risk.

Right now, a commercial is airing all across Florida.¬†“An important alert for Floridians who take prescription drugs,” the ad broadcasts.

The ad is by a partnership for safe medicines circulating Florida airwaves claims a proposal to import prescription drugs from Canada would flood the state with counterfeit products that are not inspected and are dangerous.

But lawmakers said suppliers would have to comply with requirements for the distribution and it is a way to cut costs.

“Most countries have price controls,” said Suzanne Varus, a Discount Med Direct manager. “You’re able to get medications at a lot lower cost because they’re not able to jump the prices up overnight.”

It is something Suellen Sim said her family needs.

“I have a grandson who needs an EpiPen¬†and isn’t able to afford it,” said Sim, a Cape Coral resident. “It went from $150 to $600.”

Pharmacists point out that many of our prescriptions already come from other countries.

Various said Discount Med Direct uses international companies. Their wholesaler is from New Zealand. They have a network of pharmacies around the world that ships the medications to their customers.

The discount online prescription company emphasizes that the medications are legitimate and the Food and Drug Administration approved.

“We can tell you exactly where our medications come from, who manufactures them, and where they’re being shipped out from,” Varus said.

Varus advises consumers to do their research to make sure the medications are from a reputable company. She encourages consumers to speak to a person at the company that can answer questions.

Leg work, Sim said, is worth the savings.

“If prices could come down on drugs that would be amazing,” Sim said.

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