Will Normalization of Business Relations with Cuba Benefit U.S. Patients with Lower Drug Prices?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
 By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On October 14, 2016, the Obama administration announced its decision to lift a long-standing ban on importing Cuban pharmaceuticals into the U.S.  If the policy change is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this could bring Cuba's cheaper, creditable medicines to the United States.  This presents an interesting side effect for the normalization of business relationships that we have not seen discussed before.  That is, will patients be able to obtain drugs at the much lower prices that Cuba pays for them by importing them from Cuba?

Benefits Of A Policy Change.

This policy change could also give American researchers the chance to conduct joint research with Cuba's researchers and the chance to better Cuba's care-delivery models. These models are known worldwide for their primary care and delivering strong results despite their lack of resources.  According to Dr. Pedro Greer, a Cuban-American who is associate dean for community engagement at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University, Cuban vaccines are recognized for being high quality.

According to the Cuba Business Report, multiple Cuban drugs have already been approved or trialed in countries like Europe, Asia and Canada. Click here to read the full report.

What Are The Changes?

The Obama administration's changes would also include legalizing imported Cuban merchandise such as alcohol and cigars. The administration feels that this change would open a world of business, as well as research opportunities, for American manufacturers and academic institutions.  Dr. Greer said that the Cuban biotech industry is mature and ready for a joint venture with a U.S. company or even an academic institute.

Dr. Ross McKinney, chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges believes this policy change could be an opportunity to gain knowledge from one of the most cultured healthcare delivery and training programs in Latin America.

Dr. McKinney said, in terms of research, Cuban academics have a lot of knowledge to provide Americans, especially when it comes to vector-borne illness such as the Zika virus.  Dr. McKinney predicts U.S. medical researchers will want to engage in joint clinical trails with Cuba, as they have already done so with Carribean islands such as Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Rubenfire, Adam. "Cuban Pharmaceutical Imports To U.S. Could Lead To Lower Drug Prices. "Vital Signs. (October 26, 2016). Web.

About the Author:
George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

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“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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