Four-in-five Canadians (79%) say that it is not their responsibility to help lower the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S., and that Canada should focus on its own supply, according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

New poll finds Canadians oppose sending prescription drugs to U.S.

The overwhelming majority of Canadians are against the Trump administration’s plans to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, according to a new opinion poll.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump called on U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar to speed up efforts to allow imports of cheaper drugs from Canada, after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began taking steps last July to allow states, wholesalers and pharmacists to import some drugs from Canada.

Canada, like most other industrialized countries, has price controls in place over drugs. But the U.S. does not, leaving their drug prices to be set by pharmaceutical companies.

For example, in the U.S., the average cost of a vial of insulin is about $340 ($450 Cdn). In Canada, the same vial will cost about $30.

Experts in Canada have suggested that Trump’s proposal could put the Canadian prescription drug supply at risk and it appears that most residents agree.

A survey from the Angus Reid Institute has found four in five Canadians (79 per cent) say that it is not their responsibility to help lower the cost of prescription drugs in the United States, and that Canada should focus on its own supply.

In addition, four-in-five Canadians (78 per cent) say that they support some form of investment toward a national pharmacare program, rising to 86 per cent among those with a household income of less than $50,000, the survey found.

The survey also found that four-in-ten Canadians say they or someone in their household has had issues getting a prescription filled – they were either sent to another pharmacy, only given a portion of their prescription or told their prescription could not be filled at all – due to existing shortages of medication in Canada.

With files from CBC News

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