“Florida has demonstrated that [the drug importation plan] will considerably cut back the price of [drugs] to the American client with out posing further threat to the general public’s well being and security,” the FDA mentioned in its
letter authorizing the Florida plan.
Earlier than medicine will be imported, Florida’s Company for Well being Care Administration must submit particular medicines to the FDA for assessment and approval and be certain that they’ve been examined for authenticity and security.
The choice comes regardless of years of warnings from former FDA leaders — together with Biden’s present FDA chief — that drug importation is a “dangerous strategy” that’s “prone to hurt sufferers.”
In 2017, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and three former company leaders — Margaret Hamburg, Mark McClellan and Andrew Von Eschenbach — instructed Congress such an effort may “undermine American confidence in what has confirmed to be a extremely profitable system for assuring drug security.”
President Joe Biden has more and more touted his administration’s efforts to decrease the price of pharmaceuticals in latest months, highlighting the implementation of the first-ever Medicare drug worth negotiations and different Inflation Discount Act insurance policies at quite a few occasions.
“For too lengthy, People have been pressured to pay the very best prescription drug costs of any developed nation on this planet,” White Home spokesperson Kelly Scully mentioned. “In the present day’s FDA motion is a step in the best path that may assist different states apply for importation plans.”
Pharma opposed: The pharmaceutical business is anticipated to sue to cease drug importation from Canada — a coverage it argues poses a “severe threat to public well being.”
“As at all times we take into account all of our choices when a coverage is handed, in order that’s what we’ll do once more,” mentioned PhRMA spokesperson Nicole Longo, when requested whether or not the commerce group would sue.
A separate citizen petition from PhRMA that sought to dam Florida’s plan to import medicine from Canada will likely be denied Friday, in accordance with a senior administration official granted anonymity to debate the FDA’s plans.
“We’re deeply involved with the FDA’s reckless resolution to approve Florida’s state importation plan,” PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl mentioned in a press release. “Making certain sufferers have entry to wanted medicines is important, however the importation of unapproved medicines, whether or not from Canada or elsewhere on this planet, poses a severe hazard to public well being.”
What’s subsequent: Califf mentioned his company will work with states and American Indian tribes that wish to put into place drug importation packages.
“These proposals should display the packages would end in vital value financial savings to customers with out including threat of publicity to unsafe or ineffective medicine,” Califf mentioned in a press launch.
Colorado is working with the FDA on an identical software, in accordance with the senior administration official.
“Colorado is in that course of, however they’re additional behind than Florida,” the senior administration official mentioned. “New Hampshire, they’re on pause, others have expressed curiosity.”
In Florida, the state’s software to import medicine from Canada has been a high precedence of DeSantis, who closely lobbied former President Donald Trump to finally give remaining authorization to enact the federal program in 2020. DeSantis additionally hammered the Biden administration for not approving the state’s software sooner, even suing the FDA for data related to the decision-making course of.
Gary Fineout contributed to this report.