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Florida bill would allow drugs to be imported from Canada

Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 17:57:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis’ push to allow the state to import drugs from Canada inched closer to final passage Friday.

The Senate teed up legislation for a final vote next week that would, among other things, authorize the state Agency for Health Care Administration to establish the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program.

It would allow the state to purchase drugs at a discounted price to be used for Medicaid and prison health care.

Bill sponsor Aaron Bean says Floridians deserve access to less-expensive medicine.

“There are two options. We can do nothing and next year we will continue to pay the highest prices for drugs on the planet, or we can do something," said Bean.

However, Senator Bobby Powell is concerned whether the imported drugs will be safe for Florida consumers.

“We are testing these medications from Canada, saying that we are going to reduce the price of drugs, by putting these people, I believe, at risk," said Powell. "I don’t think people should be test products.”

Under the legislation, the state could not import controlled substances, biological products, IV drugs or those that are inhaled during surgery.

The drug importation program would require approval from the federal government before it could be implemented.