The importation program calls for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to choose Canadian wholesalers and license them to export specific, high-cost drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to Florida.
“Floridians have been paying inexcusably high prices for prescription drugs for far too long and today, we are taking action,” said Governor DeSantis. “I thank President Galvano, Speaker Oliva and the bill sponsors for this innovative legislation that empowers Florida to lead the way toward affordable prescription drugs. We are ready to work with President Trump and his team to make access to affordable prescription drugs from Canada a reality in our state. Floridians don’t need more bureaucratic delays, they need Washington to follow suit and get this done.”
Other leaders weighed in on the landmark signing, praising the new law that will help Floridians get affordable prescription drugs.
“The exorbitant cost of prescription drugs is a tremendous problem in this country’s healthcare spending, and I am honored to be part of an administration facing this problem head on,” said Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Our state’s new Drug Importation Program will aid Floridians and provide them with a safe and affordable solution to these high costs.”
“Americans pay the highest prescription drug costs in the world, and costs are rising at an alarming rate,” said Senate President Bill Galvano. “This legislation will allow our state to pursue lower priced drugs on the Canadian and International market, while ensuring safety through oversight by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. I am grateful to Governor DeSantis and Speaker Oliva for their leadership on this important issue.”
“All Americans, including tens of millions of Floridians, are tired of subsidizing the prescription drug costs of the rest of the world,” said Speaker of the House of Representatives Jose Oliva. “This legislation will be a leap forward in securing a future that includes a global market for safe and inspected prescription drugs. Despite the outlandish statements made by some interest groups, this legislation includes safety requirements and inspection regulations to prevent any dangerous product from entering the US market. I thank the Governor for his leadership and courage in signing the bill today. The House of Representatives will continue to work with this Governor to boldly lead on the issue of healthcare.”
“The price of health care has long been a major concern of Floridians and today’s bill signing addresses that concern,” said Senator Aaron Bean. “The people of our state have been paying far too much for prescription drugs while a potential for savings is right in front of us. This legislation allows Florida to have more options that will in turn lower costs for our patients.”
“Government regulation created an industry-wide monopoly allowing prescription drug manufacturers to reap the benefits of low cost production and shutting out the consumer from the savings,” said Representative Tom Leek. “HB 19 opens up the market to allow consumers to benefit from the very same safe, effective, FDA approved, low cost drug manufacturing that the pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of today. It’s time we start putting patients over profits.”
CS/HB 19 outlines the importation process, safety standards, drug distribution requirements and penalties for violations of program requirements. Both programs also establish eligibility criteria for the types of prescription drugs which may be imported and the entities that may export or import prescription drugs.
The bill requires both programs to seek federal approval or cooperation prior to importing prescription drugs. Governor DeSantis’ administration is currently working closely with the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to submit its plan for the importation of prescription drugs for their consideration.