Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to their unreasonable delay of more than 630 days in approving Florida's proposal for its Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) submitted the first of its kind plan to safely import cheaper drugs from Canada to the FDA nearly 21 months ago, and the last hurdle they are facing is approval from the federal government.
"Florida has been ready to deliver cheaper prescription drugs to those that need them for nearly two years," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "The lack of transparency by the Biden administration during the approval process, and failure to provide records on the importation proposal, is costing Floridians who are facing rising prices across the board due to inflation. Florida is confident in our importation model, and we continue to look for more ways to lower drug costs for Floridians while the FDA delays approval of this importation proposal."
"Governor DeSantis and I are fighting to lower prescription drug costs, but Washington bureaucrats are blocking our efforts," said Attorney General Ashley Moody. "Today, we filed litigation to force the FDA to accept our medication importation proposal. This action will save Florida $150 million a year."
"Thanks to the decisive leadership of Governor DeSantis and his commitment to empowering patients, we will continue to fight for Floridians and the ability to import high-quality prescription drugs from Canada at a significantly lower price," said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller. "With each passing day, the complacency of the federal government continues to appear to be a ruse to protect the pharmaceutical industry's "power' over patients."
"Governor DeSantis continues to push for action on every front from the Biden Administration," said Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. "The reality is that people cannot wait upwards of two years to improve access to essential prescriptions. Instead, the federal government is dragging their feet when Americans need affordable prescriptions, now more than ever."
AHCA continues to face bureaucratic roadblocks and filed this lawsuit to compel the FDA to act on Florida's proposal. In July, Governor DeSantis announced that AHCA filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to gain insight into the status of their proposal to lower drug costs for Floridians. To date, the FDA has failed to respond to this FOIA request, resulting in AHCA filing suit earlier this week. The FDA must provide transparency on their review process, and Florida will hold them accountable to ensure they are not putting politics over patients.
In response to federal government inaction, Governor DeSantis granted AHCA authority to negotiate prices for drugs ineligible for importation, such as insulin and epinephrine. This will reinforce the demand for Florida's Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program and provide another avenue to impact the price Floridians pay for prescription drugs.