DeSantis seeks money for drug importation plan

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to push to import lower-cost drugs from Canada and included $15 million in his proposed 2021-2022 budget for an importation program.

DeSantis released the proposed $96.6 billion budget on Thursday, as lawmakers prepare to negotiate a spending plan during the upcoming legislative session.

Florida in November submitted a proposal to the federal government to establish a drug-importation program. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, and the Council for Affordable Health Coverage immediately challenged the plan.

The $15 million requested by DeSantis would come on top of $10 million the Legislature has already directed toward establishing an importation program, which also was championed by former House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.

The Legislature passed a bill in 2019 giving the state the green light to move ahead with importation efforts.