Florida sues FDA over plan to import prescription drugs from Canada

LAKELAND, Fla. — Florida has waited long enough.

That’s what Governor Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday when announcing his administration is suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over a plan he says will save Floridians hundreds of millions of dollars on drugs. on prescription.

Speaking at a pharmaceutical distribution plant in Lakeland, DeSantis said the Florida legislature passed a measure in 2019 that allows the Sunshine State to import drugs directly from Canada instead of USA at cheaper prices.

“These are the same drugs you buy here. They’re just 80% cheaper or 75% cheaper,” DeSantis said.

The governor said his administration had submitted several proposals to the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since late 2020, seeking federal approval to import prescription drugs from Canada.

According to DeSantis, President Joe Biden expressed interest in the proposal in the summer of 2021.

630 days later, the governor said Wednesday that the FDA had been “very dismissive” and “very arrogant” and delayed making a decision on the prescription drug importation plan.

“It’s just been months and months and months at the FDA. Probably over a year, a year and a half, and no action,” DeSantis said. “Biden says he wants this for consumers, yet his administration is unwilling to act to prove it so people have access to more affordable pharmaceuticals.”

As a result, the DeSantis administration is suing the FDA, claiming the agency violated federal law after it “unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed approval of the Florida program.”

The governor is asking a federal judge to order the FDA to make a decision on the proposal.

“Time flies. We have a right to know what the FDA has been doing for the past two years,” DeSantis said. “Are they putting politics before patients? Are they putting the interests of big pharma ahead of the interests of Floridians and average taxpayers? And that’s what we need to find out.”

An FDA official said the agency does not comment on ongoing litigation, but cited a web page suggesting officials are making progress in creating a “statutory path” for States wishing to import.

The last update was in March.

Earlier this month, Biden released details of the “Reduction of Inflation Act,” a proposal that would allow the Medicare program to negotiate certain prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, which would allow the government federal government to save some $288 billion over the 10-year budget window.

The result is expected to lower drug costs for seniors, including a $2,000 cap for seniors buying prescriptions at pharmacies.

The revenue collected would also be used to provide free vaccinations to senior citizens, who are now among the few not guaranteed free access, according to a summary document.

Seniors would also see the price of insulin capped at $35 per month.

About Dwayne Wakefield

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