Florida leaders seeks Canadian option for prescription drugs

TALLAHASSEE — Floridians could gain access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada if the federal government agrees under legislation approved Monday by a state Senate committee.

The Senate Health Policy Committee voted 8-2 Monday for one of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ top priorities in the 60-day legislative session. A companion measure with several key differences is moving through House committees that would eventually need to be reconciled with the Senate version.

The Senate bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Aaron Bean of Jacksonville, said the Canadian drug import program if adopted would be submitted for approval to the federal Health and Human Services Department. If approved, the plan would come back to Florida lawmakers for a final decision.

“The price of health care is a major concern. It’s a major concern of Floridians. They are not just making that up,” Bean said. “”There’s a significant potential for savings.”

The U.S. has one of the costliest health care systems in the world at about $10,739 per person in 2017, according to a Senate staff analysis of the bill. As of 2015, the analysis found that U.S. spending on prescription drugs topped $1,000 per person annually and was 30 to 190 percent higher

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