DeSantis Announces Plan for Prescription Drug Importation Program
Submitted by Nancy Smith on February 20, 2019 - 11:17pm
Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to The Villages on Wednesday to announce his commitment to create a prescription drug importation program for Florida. The program will offer access to FDA-approved prescription drugs that have been imported from Canada, allowing the drugs to be sold to Floridians at a much lower cost. The governor was joined at the announcement by House Speaker Jose Oliva, Rep. Ray Rodrigues and Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew.
“One of the biggest drivers of this country’s out-of-control healthcare spending is the cost of prescription drugs,” the governor said. “While our prices remain high, our neighbors in Canada are spending significantly less for the same drugs. These price disparities are indefensible and inexcusable and I am ready to act. I thank Speaker Oliva for prioritizing this issue and look forward to working with him to reduce the prices of these drugs for Floridians that depend on them.”
In 2003 Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act to allow U.S. wholesalers and pharmacists to import prescription drugs from Canada, but only if the federal Department of Health and Human services authorizes it, which it has refused to do. The governor believes that 16 years since the passage of that law is long enough.
DeSantis said he will work in conjunction with the Trump Administration and the Florida Legislature to create the program as quickly as possible while taking the necessary steps to ensure the appropriate regulatory protections are in place.