Canadian drugs

Florida sent federal officials a detailed plan for how the state proposes to safely import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries on Friday.

Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida’s initial effort to gauge interest in the operation of a Canadian drug importation program has drawn more letters of concern from critics than responses from those seeking to participate in the program.

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued a request for information from potential vendors in late May, after state lawmakers approved the drug-importation plan. During a month-long response period, two vendors --- Ernst & Young and Maximus --- responded to the agency’s request.

Trump Administration Advances Drug-Importation Plan

Aug 1, 2019
Various prescription drugs on a blue backdrop
News Service of Florida

In a move that could help Gov. Ron DeSantis carry out an ambitious effort to cut drug prices, President Donald Trump’s administration announced Wednesday a plan intended to make it easier for states like Florida to bring in prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. 

Next Steps Eyed On Importing Prescription Drugs

Jun 21, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

A state pharmacy panel will meet next week to discuss additional steps Florida needs to take to establish a program to import prescription drugs from other countries. 

Drug Importation Plan Signed As Questions Remain

Jun 12, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis, acting on one of his top priorities during his first year in office, signed into law Tuesday a measure that gives the state the go-ahead to pursue approval to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. 

Drug Importation Fight Moves To Washington

May 8, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

The battle over whether to allow state programs and Floridians to have access to prescription drugs imported from Canada has already been waged in the Legislature, but it is now shifting from the halls of Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. 

The Trump Administration is supporting a request Florida lawmakers just passed to curb rising drug costs by allowing the state to important cheaper prescription drugs from outside the U.S.

Canadian Drug Importation Bill Heads To DeSantis' Desk

May 1, 2019

Florida legislators have passed a bill that would pave the way for residents to buy cheaper prescription drugs imported from Canada.

Major Health Bills Headed To DeSantis

Apr 30, 2019
Elderly patient holds prescription pill bottle.
Heidi de Marco/KHN

After more than two decades of debate about the issue, the Florida Legislature on Monday approved eliminating the “certificate of need” regulatory program for hospitals and passed a high-profile measure aimed at importing prescription drugs from Canada. 

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, on average Americans spend $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, which is more than any other developed country in the world.

Canadian Drug Imports Could Get Go-Ahead

Apr 29, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to allow the state to import prescription drugs from Canada inched closer to passage Friday in the Senate. 

As Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed Canadian drug importation plan looks poised to pass into law this legislative session, he and other proponents are mocking its critics as fearmongers. The Governor’s defense comes amid attack ads that are ramping up in Florida markets.

House Approves Canadian Drug Imports

Apr 12, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Drugs from Canada could be imported into Florida if the federal government agrees, under a bill that passed the state House on Thursday. 

Canadian Drug Importation Continues Advancing

Apr 10, 2019
Pill bottles in a warehouse
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to allow the state to import drugs from Canada is moving ahead in the Legislature, though some lawmakers say there has been a sustained effort to try to stop the plan. 

DeSantis Tries To Build Support For Drug Imports

Apr 9, 2019

In a move that could suggest one of his top legislative priorities is encountering stiff resistance, Gov. Ron DeSantis took time Monday to defend his push to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. 

Floridians spend a lot on prescription drugs -- more than $30 billion last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Now at least some Florida lawmakers say they have a way to save consumers money on drugs: get them for less from Canada.

In his first weeks in office, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed the idea of the state importing drugs from Canada. State lawmakers quickly took up the idea. They say that could save Floridians up to 80 percent on what they currently pay for drugs.

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A Senate health care panel ran out of time Thursday and was unable to consider a measure aimed at allowing imported prescription drugs from Canada. 

Senators Back Drug Imports To Cut State Costs

Mar 26, 2019
Pill bottles in a warehouse
Wikimedia Commons

A Senate panel Monday moved forward with a bill that could allow the state to lower costs by importing drugs from Canada for prisoners and Medicaid patients. 

House Panel Backs Giving Florida Access To Foreign Drugs

Mar 19, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Floridians could gain access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries under legislation approved by a state House committee Monday amid concern it could open the door to subpar and even dangerous medications. 

DeSantis Plan To Import Prescription Drugs To Lower Prices Gets House Support

Mar 13, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis was criticized last year for not having a health care platform while he campaigned for the state’s top job.

Cities And Counties Unlikely To Heed FDA Warning On Importing Foreign Drugs

Mar 6, 2019
Elderly patient holds prescription pill bottle.
Heidi de Marco/KHN

Cities and local governments in several states said they will continue to use a Canadian company to offer employees prescription drugs at a highly reduced price, even though federal officials raised safety concerns about the practice last week. 

Drug Re-Importation From Canada Finds New Champions, Old Snags

Feb 26, 2019
DeSantis standing at a podium in front of US Flag
Florida Governor's Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he intends to bring down skyrocketing drug prices by leaning on an existing federal law that could enable the state to import prescription meds wholesale from Canada, where they’re much cheaper. He’s citing direct support from President Donald Trump, whose administration would have to approve the endeavor. 

Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News / Kaiser Health News

The U.S. government has stepped up seizures of drugs ordered by Americans from international sources through the mail—including cheaper, legal medications from legitimate pharmacies, Tarbell has found.

Pill bottles in a warehouse
Wikimedia Commons

An online pharmacy that bills itself as Canada's largest is expected to be fined $34 million Friday for importing counterfeit cancer drugs and other unapproved pharmaceuticals into the United States, a sentence that one advocacy group called too light for such a heinous crime.

Pill bottles in a warehouse
Wikimedia Commons

Schenectady County, N.Y., is on track to pay 20 percent less on prescription drugs for its employees this year than in 2003.

Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News / Kaiser Health News

Some cities, counties and school districts in Florida and around the country are helping their employees buy cheap prescription drugs from Canada and overseas.