Florida - Oppose Importation | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Florida - Oppose Importation

March 4, 2019

Florida Legislature
State Capitol
400 South Monroe St
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Legislators,

On behalf of the 214,252 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in Florida, I ask you to oppose HB 19, which would establish a Canadian Drug Importation Program and eventually an international importation program from specific countries.

The federal government is the sole authority that can determine whether the importation of drugs from any country is safe.  No secretary of Health and Human Services or commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of either party has ever certified that importing pharmaceuticals would keep Americans safe from dangerous counterfeit drugs, including the opioids that have caused so much destruction across our country.

Because the state is planning to go outside of the closed U.S. pharmaceutical distribution system, it will be necessary for the state to establish protections to guarantee that imported drugs are therapeutic equivalents to those that are sold in the U.S., and are neither adulterated nor counterfeit.  It will be necessary to sample batches to make sure they are authentic and conduct inspections of their foreign suppliers.  The bill assumes Canadian and other foreign suppliers will comply with Florida and U.S. law, such as the track and trace system, seek numerous permits, keep voluminous records, and allow inspections without a substantial upcharge to the drugs.

Considering the complexity and hazards involved, it would be reckless and expensive to create an importation program.  States are ill-equipped to take on such a project.  It would also be challenged as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Florida should be proud of its commitment to small government and free enterprise.  An importation plan that brings Canadian-style socialized price-controlled medicine to the Sunshine State would not be in line with Florida’s values. 

It would be better for Florida state officials to ask their U.S. congressional delegation to support an environment that fosters competition and innovation and continue to hold the FDA’s feet to the fire to make sure generic drug applications are approved efficiently and quickly.  This would be a far more effective way to help bring down the price of prescription drugs than passing this harmful and counterproductive bill.

America and Florida need policies that encourage innovation and competition.  Passing bills that accept and promote harmful price controls, like HB 19, should be rejected.

Sincerely,

Thomas A. Schatz

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