Canadian drug import plan aims to strip hospitals of 'unfair advantage' over ASCs: 4 insights

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., plans to work with President Donald Trump to give Florida patients access to FDA-approved drugs from Canada, the Orlando Weekly reports.

What you should know:

1. Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, joined the governor to announce the initiative Feb. 20. Rep. Oliva has worked to eliminate certain regulations that he says give hospitals an unfair advantage over ASCs and other facilities.

"There are tremendous efforts on behalf of interest groups to keep things as they are,” Rep. Oliva said. "And it takes the courage of the people that you all send up to Tallahassee to make a difference. So I can finally say, 'We are all here, and we're going to make a difference.'"

2. For the Canadian-import program to happen, HHS must give Congress confirmation that the imports don't threaten public safety and would reduce costs.

3. Gov. DeSantis said he personally spoke to President Trump about the program, which could help reduce the state's expenditure on drugs for prison inmates. Mr. Trump is "enthusiastic" about the idea, the governor said.

4. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 allows Canadian prescription drugs to be imported for personal use, which makes the program possible, Gov. DeSantis said. The law also ended a ban on manufacturer-established agreements to prevent the circulation of imported products.

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