Canadian Drug Distributor Sells Unapproved, Mislabeled Medicines To Unsuspecting Americans, FDA Warns
Many of CanaRx's buyers are city and county governments seeking to save money. “Such operations take advantage of unsuspecting Americans, by purporting to distribute safe and effective imported drugs, at least some of which are instead expired, mislabeled, subject to recalls or potentially counterfeit," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
The New York Times:
F.D.A. Says Canadian Company, CanaRx, Sells Unsafe Medicines To U.S. Buyers
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said a major Canadian drug distributor was selling unapproved and mislabeled medicines to unsuspecting Americans looking to save money on prescriptions, and warned it to stop. The company, CanaRx, sells many common prescription medicines at a lower cost to hundreds of public and private employer programs in the United States. Many of its buyers are city and county governments seeking to save money, among them: Albany, N.Y. and Duluth, Minn. CanaRx says the medications it sells are high-quality, from Canada, Australia and Britain, but the F.D.A. said this is not always the case. (Kaplan, 2/28)
The Washington Post:
FDA Warns Canadian Drug Distributor About Sending ‘Unsafe’ Drugs To U.S.
The FDA urged U.S. consumers “not to use any medicines from CanaRx,” which supplies drugs to employees of about 500 cities and counties, and private-sector employers seeking discounts on drug prices. The FDA said the drugs include some subject to special rules and restrictions in the U.S. because they are potentially dangerous to users. The FDA action comes amid a growing clamor over high drug prices in the U.S. that included a Senate hearing Tuesday at which top pharmaceutical executives were grilled about the costs. (Bernstein and McGinley, 2/28)
The Wall Street Journal:
Canadian Drug Distributor Targeting U.S. City, County Employees Gets FDA Warning Shot
Joseph Morris, an attorney for CanaRx, said, “CanaRx is in the business of matching Americans with dispensing pharmacies” in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. He said, contrary to the wording in the FDA warning letter, the company doesn’t actually contract with the municipalities or other local agencies, but rather with individual employees of those entities. The strategy appears to be central to CanaRx’s business model. “Founded by doctors, pharmacists and health care professionals, the goal was and is to provide safe affordable brand name maintenance medications at a reduced cost to all American residents,” according to the company’s website. (Burton, 2/28)
As More Lawmakers Look To Import Cheaper Meds, FDA Warns A Canadian Broker
Unlike online pharmacies, CanaRx acts as a broker for self-insured local governments and private employers, and has 560 such arrangements, according to its web site. The company fulfills prescriptions, which are mailed or emailed, by working with licensed physicians and brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Canada, Australia, and the U.K., which ship medicines directly to Americans. (Silverman, 2/28)