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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday sued the Biden administration over delays to attempts by his state to allegedly import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, saying he hopes Floridians aren’t being punished over political differences.
Speaking from Lakeland, near Tampa, the Republican governor spoke about the US Food and Drug Administration’s review of an application to get medications to treat a number of ailments as part of the Canadian drug import program.
“I’d hate to think that the Biden admin would not approve it just because it’s Florida, regardless because they have issues with Florida politically … because this will benefit people … of political persuasion,” he said.
Florida became the first state to apply for the program in November 2020, Politico reported. In July 2021, President Biden signed an executive order ordering the FDA to implement the program.
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Simone Marstiller, secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, told the FDA in March that Florida had already waited 500 days for its application to be approved.
“This has been sitting on someone’s desk for 600 days,” Marstiller said Wednesday. “This is not what government is supposed to do.”
The importation of low-cost drugs could save Floridians around $150 million annually, state health officials have said.
“After 630 days, you know, we still sit here waiting for an answer. And so it’s our view that we’ve waited long enough,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “We have a right to know what the FDA has been doing the last two years. Are they putting politics over patients? Are they putting the interest of Big Pharma over the interest of average Floridians?”
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Florida’s lawsuit asks a federal judge to order the FDA to approve the application, DeSantis said Wednesday. Fox News has reached out to the FDA for comment.