Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced that Florida is suing the Biden administration's Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The state claims the FDA is delaying Florida’s attempts to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.
The alleged delay of cheaper medications for diabetes, Hepatitis C, HIV and other illnesses has lasted almost 600 days.
Florida originally applied for the Canadian drug importation program in 2020 during the last months of Donald Trump’s presidency. It is expected the program would save Floridians an estimated $150 million in drug costs.
“This has been sitting on someone’s desk for 600 days,” Simone Marstiller, secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration told the FDA in March. “This is not what government is supposed to do.”
Drug prices in the United States are four times higher than the prices of prescription drugs in other developed countries.
“We’re not going to pay these prices to the pharmaceutical companies,” Marstiller said.
When asked about the delay last year, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, a former Google executive, declined to provide a timeline for Florida’s cheaper drug application.
By suing the FDA on behalf of Floridian’s who desperately need cheaper life saving medication, DeSantis isn’t only up against the federal government but he’s also up against the pharmaceutical industry, who provides 46% (or $2.8 billion) of the FDA’s annual budget.