DeSantis Admin sues Biden Admin for information on importing prescription drugs
- The DeSantis administration filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court seeking records of proposed prescription drug imports from Florida and other states.
- The information sought is part of a plan to import cheaper prescription drugs and make them available in government plans, including Medicaid, prison health care, and more.
- Florida filed a Freedom of Information Act request that was completely ignored by the feds
- The state has already spent large sums of money to prepare for the launch of the program, but alleges that the federal government is dragging its feet
TALLAHASSEE – Govt. Ron DeSantis The U.S. administration has filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration failed to comply with a request for public records regarding the state’s proposed program to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. .
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Tampa, came after the secretary of the state Agency for Health Care Administration Simone Martiller submitted a Freedom of Information Act request on July 6 seeking extensive records of drug import proposals from Florida and other states.
“FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act) requires the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to process requests for records and promptly provide the requested records or the reasonably separable portion of the records not subject to a FOIA exemption,” said said the 11-page lawsuit. “FDA did not provide AHCA (the Agency for Health Care Administration) with any responsive material in response to its request, nor did the FDA assert that any responsive material was exempt from disclosure. Therefore, the FDA’s failure to produce the requested records or claim the applicable exemptions violates the FOIA. »
DeSantis and then President of the Florida House Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, made the issue of drug importation a priority in 2019 as lawmakers approved a plan to make imported drugs available in government programs such as Medicaid, the prison system and managed facilities. by the Ministry of Children and Families. At least initially, the state wants to import drugs to treat diseases such as HIV and AIDS, hepatitis C, diabetes and mental illness, according to the lawsuit.
FDA officials would have to approve the import program, and the state submitted a proposal in November 2020, according to the lawsuit. The proposal has remained pending, with the state saying it has not received a timeline for a decision.
Former president that of Donald Trump The administration approved a rule in 2020 to help clear the way for imports, but groups including Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America have launched a legal challenge that remains unresolved in federal court in Washington.
Marstiller’s July 6 request targeted in part FDA records relating to proposed imports from Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
Other examples of the request include documents “relating to Canada’s drug importation program and private pharmaceutical stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, lobby groups and advocacy groups; » records of laboratory testing standards; and records “relating to ‘risk’ to the health and safety of the American public.”
Marstiller’s request, which was filed as an attachment to the lawsuit, said “the records will illuminate the FDA’s role in implementing a program of great interest and importance to Florida residents. The availability of low-cost essential medicines is a matter of public interest and concern in Florida and across America, especially because many vulnerable citizens need these medicines but cannot afford them. . Moreover, the need for this information is urgent. Outpatient prescription drug prices have risen exponentially and continue to rise.
The lawsuit briefly outlined the steps Florida took to complete the program, but said it remains “stuck in the starting blocks” pending an FDA decision.
“Florida is ready, willing and able to begin operating the program immediately, having already constructed a refrigerated distribution facility and procured a licensed importer and distributor currently paid $1.2 million per month,” the lawsuit states.