Biden admin urges court to dismiss lawsuit in way of states allowing prescription drugs to be imported

The Biden administration is urging a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit that could stand in the way of states like Florida allowing prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.

In a legal brief filed Friday, the White House argues that the lawsuit filed last year on behalf of U.S. pharmaceutical companies was premature because the federal government has yet to approve any importation programs. The administration’s legal filing came on the same day Florida’s Republican governor called on the Biden administration to approve its drug importation application. Florida and New Mexico are the only two states thus far to formally ask the U.S. government to allow federally approved drugs to be imported from Canada. During a Friday news conference, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Floridians could save as much as $150 million in drug costs in the program’s first year.

DeSantis signed a bill in 2019 allowing prescription drugs to be imported from the neighboring country, but the plan awaits federal approval. In November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under then-President Donald Trump issued a ruling, which DeSantis said was based largely on Florida’s plan, further opening the door for states to pursue importing prescription drugs. That same month, the trade group filed its lawsuit. The governor’s office on Friday issued a statement asserting that the current government’s legal filing “puts the Biden Administration on the record in support of the FDA rule” [ABC].


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