LAKELAND (CBSMiami) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing the Biden Administration to allow Floridians to buy cheaper FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada.

Governor DeSantis signed the bill aimed at lowering prescription drug costs in 2019 but nothing’s happened since because prescription drugs are so heavily regulated by federal law.

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“So, we want the Biden administration to approve this,” DeSantis said. “We think if they act immediately, we’ll be able to provide safe and effective drugs to drive down prescription costs here in Florida, and the taxpayer will be able to realize a lot of savings,” he said during an appearance on Friday at the empty LifeScience Logistics Distribution Center in Lakeland which he said could soon be stocked with the drugs.

DeSantis said if Florida gets approval to buy drugs from Canada it could save a lot of money.

“We think between the state level between $80 and $150 million can be saved by implementing this program,” said DeSantis.

The law DeSantis signed follows a provision in a law from 2003 signed by then-President George W. Bush that does allow for the purchase of drugs from Canada.

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The Governor said the feds have been reviewing the Florida law for six months but hopes to have approval soon.

“It’s been under review enough,” the governor said. “We have followed every regulation. We’ve met every requirement that we were asked to meet, and we want now to be able to get this final approval so that we can finally move forward.” He added, “We were told that if it wasn’t denied last week that we should assume it’s going to be approved, but you know we want to get that final approval, because once we do, then all this stuff goes in motion.”

The state is planning a phased rollout to the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program to ensure safety and compliance with all FDA guidelines.

The state will begin by providing prescription drugs in a small number of drug classes which will include maintenance medications to help individuals that have chronic health conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness. These drugs will be for individuals who are under the care of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Corrections (FDC), and Department of Health (DOH). The program will then expand to include providing imported prescription drugs for Medicaid members across the state.

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