DeSantis sues FDA for delaying approval of program to lower drug prices

2H7F9NR Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. 22nd Nov, 2021. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at Buc-ee's travel center, where he announced his proposal of more than $1 billion in gas tax relief for Floridians in response to rising gas prices caused by inflation. DeSantis is proposing to the Florida legislature a five-month gas tax holiday. (Credit Image: © Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)

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Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after delaying approval of Florida’s proposal for the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program.

“Florida has been ready to deliver cheaper prescription drugs to those that need them for nearly two years,” the governor told a crowd gathered in Lakeland, Florida, Wednesday. “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.”

After the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) submitted a proposal to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada roughly two years ago, the federal government has yet to approve, a press release stated.

The AHCA then filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain information on the status of their proposal, DeSantis announced in July. However, the FDA has not responded to their request leading to a lawsuit from the AHCA.

The Hill noted that DeSantis signed a law in 2019 authorizing the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program, which made Florida the first state to propose a plan to import more affordable medication from Canada.

“To date, the FDA has failed to respond to this FOIA request, resulting in AHCA filing suit. The FDA must provide transparency on their review process and Florida will hold them accountable to ensure they are not putting politics over patients,” the governor said, adding that the program could save the state over $150 million a year, per The Epoch Times.

Amidst the legal battle, the governor has permitted the AHCA to negotiate prices for drugs ineligible for importation to “reinforce the demand for Florida’s Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program and provide another avenue to impact the price Floridians pay for prescription drugs,” the press release adds.

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