Feds Push Back In Florida Drug Importation Case

The Biden administration this week asked a judge to reject allegations that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has “dragged its feet” on a Florida proposal to import prescription drugs from Canada and has not properly complied with a public-records request.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys filed a 27-page document that pushed back against a lawsuit the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration filed in August to try to spur a decision on the importation proposal and to obtain a series of records.

The document, a point-by-point answer to the lawsuit, denied that the Food and Drug Administration has delayed action on Florida’s proposal under what is known as the Section 804 Importation Program, or SIP.

“Defendants deny the allegations that FDA has been inactive with respect to, or ‘sitting on,’ Florida’s SIP proposal, and that FDA is denying access to prescription drugs,” the document, filed Monday in federal court in Tampa, said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and then-Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, made the drug-importation issue a priority in 2019, with lawmakers approving a plan to make imported drugs available in government programs such as Medicaid, the prison system and facilities run by the Department of Children and Families.

At least initially, the state wants to import drugs to treat conditions such as HIV and AIDS, hepatitis C, diabetes, and mental illness, according to the lawsuit.


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