Ron DeSantis is a big proponent of saving Floridians money. And he’ll do everything that he can to make that happen – including buying drugs from Canada – especially if they’re cheaper.
There’s just one problem. The federal government is making it nearly impossible for him to do that.
And so, the Florida governor has had no choice but to turn around and sue the Biden administration.
Florida has been working to get medications from Canada in an affordable manner. These medications will help patients with Hepatitis C, HIV, diabetes, and other illnesses. And the application to the FDA has taken over two years to approve.
At a recent press conference in Lakeland, DeSantis explained, “People use drugs in Canada – this isn’t Djibouti. This is a safe country.”
Since the FDA is obviously not in a hurry to help Florida out, a lawsuit has been filed in a Tampa federal court, claiming that the agency is actually delaying the state’s attempt to import cheaper prescription drugs for its residents.
The application started in November 2020. DeSantis even lobbied former President Trump to give the final authorization.
If approved, buying the drugs from Canada could result in savings of over $150 million to residents in prescription drug costs.
Since then, President Biden issued an executive order in July 2021 that directed the FDA to implement such a program – and that details would be forthcoming.
There’s one big problem with all of that. According to officials with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the FDA has yet to provide any further information.
When Robert Califf, the FDA commissioner, was asked to talk about Florida’s application and the timeline that has been in place, he refused to comment.
It’s been over 600 days. The secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Simone Marstiller, has said: “this is not what government is supposed to do.”
And when POLITICO reached out to both the FDA and the White House, no comments were provided. It seems that the FDA simply wants to ignore Florida.
Well, that’s silly. Ignoring Ron DeSantis is one of the poorest decisions that the FDA could do. The governor will do what it takes to make good on his promises – and that includes taking action against the federal government. After all, when he has a solution to save Floridians over $150 million, shouldn’t the government be jumping all over it? Perhaps if Florida was a liberal state…but it’s not.
Biden had originally supported the idea of buying prescription drugs from Canada. And DeSantis had said that the support should have led the FDA to approve the application.
“I didn’t anticipate getting to this point where even the administration says they support it and then we just toil for months and months.”
The program is ready to go. All DeSantis is waiting on is the final approval from the FDA. He even has the infrastructure in order to run the program.
The lawsuit should get someone’s attention in the FDA. They’ll have to approve the application or provide some kind of reasonable explanation as to why they don’t want to help Florida save money. This seems like an obvious and beneficial program – but it’s not like the liberals want to give another victory to DeSantis right now, especially since he’s up for reelection in November.
The ball is in the FDA’s court. Now, we must wait to see what happens.