Florida Governor discusses options of importing prescription drugs from Canada

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he wants to give patients access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, making Florida the latest state to try to import medications to reduce rising health care costs.

“Once we get this in place, U.S. citizens will be able to have access to more affordable drugs,” DeSantis told a cheering crowd at The Villages, a retirement community near Orlando.

Flanked by Florida House Speaker José Oliva and Secretary of the state Agency for Health Care Administration Mary Mayhew, DeSantis said he would ask state lawmakers to pass a bill allowing such drug imports from Canada. The federal government would still need to approve it, something it hasn’t done since it passed a law to create the process in 2003.

But DeSantis assured the crowd he has a powerful ally.

“I want you to know I spoke personally to President (Donald) Trump both Sunday and Monday about this,” he said. “He’s not only supportive, he’s enthusiastic.”

DeSantis said this program would make Florida the first state to take advantage of a provision of the federal Medicare Modernization Act. Until now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has “continually refused” to authorize states to bring in drugs from Canada, but Trump has assured him that will change, DeSantis said.

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