Insulin

Importation isn't a silver bullet to lower drug prices

Illustration of pills and abstract dollar.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration is moving forward on the traditionally Democratic policy of importing prescription drugs from abroad, but the impact — if the proposals are actually finalized — could be pretty muted.

The big picture: While importation could help some patients afford their drugs, the policy overall is an attempt to take advantage of other countries' lower drug prices while avoiding taking direct action to limit prices in the U.S.

Sanders visits Canada with diabetes patients to buy cheaper insulin

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) talks about the cost of insulin in the USA versus in Canada.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders outside a pharmacy in Windsor, Canada. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) traveled with health advocates, including diabetes patients, to Windsor, Ontario, Sunday to illustrate how much less insulin costs at pharmacies in Canada compared to the U.S., CBC reports.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Bob Herman, stories about U.S. patients dying from rationing insulin have put the drug at the center of the debate on how the country will lower prices for essential medicines.