TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The Agency for Health Care Administration announced Monday that it had submitted a proposal to the federal government to allow Florida to establish a program to import prescription drugs from Canada.

In a prepared statement issued by his office, Gov. Ron DeSantis said “for far too long Floridians have been paying exorbitant prices for prescription drugs” and promised that his administration “will continue to work collaboratively in an effort to bring affordable prescription drugs to all Floridians.”

READ MORE: Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Faith Leaders Urge People To Get Their COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Legislature in 2019 passed a law directing the state to develop a Canadian prescription-drug importation program for certain pharmaceuticals. It was championed by DeSantis and former House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.

Federal officials have had the authority to approve Canadian drug- importation programs, so long as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finalized rules for programs such as the Florida plan.

The rules take effect Nov. 30, which means the state is a week early in submitting its application.

MORE FROM CBSMIAMI.COM
Multiple Sightings Of Monster-Sized Alligators In Florida
Florida Couple Avoids Prison In Child Abuse Case Where Girl Was Found Hiding In Woods
Florida Man Jumps Into Action To Rescue Puppy From Alligator’s Jaws

READ MORE: Miami Weather: Warm & Sunny Day, Sizzling Weekend Ahead

The governor’s office said the state will “begin by importing a few drug classes which will include maintenance medications to help individuals and consumers that have chronic health conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.”

Kaiser Health News reported Oct. 23 that no private company bid on a $30 million contract Florida offered to vendors interested in establishing and administering the program.

The governor’s announcement said, though, that AHCA “will soon contract with a vendor to manage and oversee all aspects of the program and ensure Canadian suppliers and eligible importers comply with all federal and state law requirements.”

The program is opposed by the pharmaceutical industry, which aggressively and unsuccessfully lobbied the Legislature to kill the bill.

MORE NEWS: Florida Rapper Tafia Involved In Fiery Tractor Trailer Crash On Miami's Airport Expressway

(©2020 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)