DeSantis announces lawsuit against Biden administration over delay of prescription drug program


Wednesday, Aug. 31, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to the delay of more than 630 days in approving Florida’s proposal for its Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration submitted the plan to safely import cheaper drugs from Canada to the FDA nearly 21 months ago, and the last hurdle they are facing is approval from the federal government.

“Florida has been ready to deliver cheaper prescription drugs to those that need them for nearly two years,” said DeSantis. “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. Florida is confident in our importation model, and we continue to look for more ways to lower drug costs for Floridians while the FDA delays approval of this importation proposal.” 

“Gov. DeSantis and I are fighting to lower prescription drug costs, but Washington bureaucrats are blocking our efforts,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. “Today, we filed litigation to force the FDA to accept our medication importation proposal. This action will save Florida $150 million a year.”

“The reality is that people cannot wait upwards of two years to improve access to essential prescriptions,” said Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “Instead, the federal government is dragging their feet when Americans need affordable prescriptions, now more than ever.” 

AHCA continues to face bureaucratic roadblocks and filed this lawsuit to compel the FDA to act on Florida’s proposal.

In July, DeSantis announced that AHCA filed a Freedom of Information Act request to gain insight into the status of their proposal. To date, according to the state officials, the FDA has failed to respond to the request, resulting in AHCA filing suit.

In response to federal government inaction, DeSantis granted AHCA authority to negotiate prices for drugs ineligible for importation, such as insulin and epinephrine. This will reinforce the demand for Florida’s Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program and provide another avenue to impact the price Floridians pay for prescription drugs.