LAKELAND (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that Florida filed a lawsuit against the FDA for delaying approval of a program to help Floridians access cheaper medications.
Under a 2003 law, DeSantis said states could apply to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase the same drugs from Canada since they are cheaper.
Florida then sent their detailed plan up to Washington during the Trump Administration for FDA approval in 2020. DeSantis said Florida was the first state to send this plan.
“After 630 days, we still sit here waiting for an answer. It’s our view that we’ve waited long enough,” DeSantis said. “We have a right to know what the FDA has been doing for the last 2 years. Are they putting politics over patients?”
“What we are paying right now in the U.S. pill to pill compared to Canada was 100% more basically,” said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller.
The governor believes the FDA has violated federal law by “unlawfully” withholding and “unreasonably” delaying the approval of Florida’s program.
The lawsuit also includes claims that the FDA has not responded to requests under the Freedom of Information Act for records to help increase transparency on their approval process.
DeSantis noted how President Biden signed an executive order in the summer of 2021 that aims to promote competition to lower drug costs.
“And so Biden is saying he wants this for consumers but yet his administration is not willing to act to be able to prove it so that people have access to to more affordable pharmaceuticals,” DeSantis said.”
DeSantis said he hopes the delay is not because of political differences between the DeSantis and Biden Administrations. The governor noted that “Big Pharma” is powerful in Washington and could be asserting influence in the process.
This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.
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