In 2001, the safety of drugs purchased from other countries, especially Canada, became a major policy issue in the United States. A political and geographical line was drawn in the sand separating Canadian and American drugs. Canadian drugs were characterized as dangerous—“a maple peril.” This article explores the practice of cross-border drug reimportation and considers the Bush and Clinton administration's policies regarding the necessary balance between drug access, affordability, and safety. This paper suggests continuity rather than change typified these policies. It connects business, economic, and political history with public policy and it aims to furnish an interdisciplinary overview of the legislative and executive branches, as well pharmaceutical firms and consumers.
- George W. Bush
- Bill Clinton