DeSantis Announces Lawsuit Against FDA Over Delays In Approving Plan To Save Residents Millions

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday that his state has had enough stalling from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in approving its application to import prescription medications from Canada. DeSantis said Florida is filing a lawsuit against the FDA because its delays violate the federal Administrative Procedures Act.

Because the FDA has neither acted on Florida’s application to begin its proposed program to import Canadian drugs nor told the state what steps are needed to move the process forward, DeSantis is getting a federal court involved.

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller told reporters that the state’s application “has been sitting on someone’s desk for 600 days” and added that “is not what government is supposed to do.”

DeSantis told reporters on Wednesday that bureaucrats in the FDA have “unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed” the state’s proposed drug importation plan and said it constitutes a violation of federal law. He said that the citizens of the state “have waited long enough” and now he is going to ask a federal judge to order approval of the plan.

The governor added that the unreasonable delay is denying Florida of the right to “know what the FDA has been doing the last two years.” He said that he now needs to know “whether they are putting politics over patients or putting the interests of Big Pharma over the interests of average Floridians.”

In a tweet posted Wednesday, DeSantis said the “FDA has unreasonably delayed approval of our Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program – which lowers prescription drug costs for Floridians. It was approved by Trump in 2020, and today we filed a lawsuit to end the FDA delay. We have had enough of Biden’s bureaucracy.”

The Trump administration approved two methods for states to apply for approval of programs to import prescription drugs in 2020.

Florida filed an application for approval of a plan to import Canadian drugs in November 2020. The state said at the time that the plan would save residents $150 million annually in medication costs.

Even though Joe Biden signed an order directing the FDA to move forward with the plan put in place by President Trump in July 2021, the Florida lawsuit called the move “another empty promise” by the current administration.

Florida’s lawsuit alleges that the FDA’s delays are denying “vulnerable Floridians access to essential medications at a reasonable cost.” It argues that the money being lost “could be used to improve access to services for Medicaid recipients, children, and persons with disabilities or chronic conditions.”

DeSantis told the press on Wednesday that the savings that are being lost are especially needed in his state because of the rampant inflation that has been brought on by Biden administration policies.