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Photo: Brad Wilson/Getty Images

American politicians love to say they'll let Americans import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. But there's a problem: Canada.

What they're saying: Canadian officials' internal briefings say that the country "does not support actions that could adversely affect the supply of prescription drugs in Canada and potentially raise costs of prescription drugs for Canadians," according to documents obtained by Reuters.

Importation into the U.S. would fit that bill. If we really did begin importing large quantities of drugs from Canada, its domestic supplies could shrink.

  • Pharmaceutical companies would have every incentive to either limit Canada's supplies, to ensure that not many pills make it back across the border, or to try to raise their prices in Canada.

There are other problems, too, despite importation's political popularity here.

  • The FDA has consistently resisted large-scale importation efforts, saying it can't adequately guarantee those products are safe.
  • Drugmakers' purchasing contracts in Canada also often prohibit the practice, per Reuters. (Canada's federal health care does not cover prescription drugs — they're covered through a mix of provincial programs and private insurance.)

My thought bubble: If the U.S. wants to set some standards about how much it will pay for drugs, we always have the option of setting our own rules rather than importing Canada's.

Go deeper: The U.S. won't import prescription drugs from Canada any time soon

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.