Another step toward cheaper drugs in FL?

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Florida has taken another step toward importing bargain-rate prescription drugs from Canada – presuming the Canadians want to go along – by submitting a “concept paper” to federal authorities describing how such a program might work.

The document gets into the details of a putative import scheme. For example, it would piggyback on existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations governing pharmaceutical repackagers and relabelers to ensure any drugs imported are safe and effective.

“Florida’s prescription drug importation program will leverage the same existing regulatory requirements, controls and safeguards as are employed currently by traditional drug repackaging and relabeling facilities,” it says.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration turned in the plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, DeSantis said in a statement released by his press office late Friday.

That federal agency is developing the actual rules that would cover any import program.

President Trump signaled his openness to the project on July 31. The Legislature voted during its spring legislative session to authorize imports as a way around high domestic pharmaceutical prices. DeSantis has been encouraging the move.

Canada negotiates lower prices with pharmaceutical companies and officials there are said to be leery of sharing drugs produced for Canadians with consumers or state agencies south of the border.

Michael Moline
Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.

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