Florida governor signs bill that would allow the state to pursue importing prescription drugs

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows the state to pursue importing prescription drugs from abroad—though components of the bill will still require federal approval to take effect.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows the state to pursue importing prescription drugs from abroad—though components of the bill will still require federal approval to take effect. The measure will open up three pathways for bringing medication in from different countries, including Canada, through a 2003 federal law that tasks federal officials with authorizing state plans to import prescription drugs. No state has received such approval, but DeSantis said he is confident Florida will clear those hurdles when the state asks for the approval likely next year. "This will have the potential to save the state a lot of money," he said. "I'm just glad that we're here today and able to say we're listening to the people who have concerns about these costs and we're taking action to help get people relief." One pathway, through Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration, would allow the state to bring drugs in from Canada for use by state agencies like for the Department of Corrections or for Medicaid patients. The second would establish a program to bring in prescription drugs from other countries, overseen by the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for commercial use, while the last would have DBPR and the state's Department of Health run a pilot program that does not need federal approval.