New bill would allow Floridians to buy cheaper medication from Canada

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Senior takes his medicine. (Credit: CBS News)
Senior takes his medicine. (Credit: CBS News)

Americans spent $3.5 trillion on health care in 2017, but a bill is meant to bring those costs down.

Tom Leek, a Republican representative, is sponsoring HB 19, which he said is an opportunity to do something good for consumers. It would let Floridians import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries abroad.

“Today, 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in the drugs you take in your bathroom were made outside the country,” Leek said.

Conwell Hooper, executive director of the American Senior Alliance, is concerned if the bill is passed, a senior citizen may acquire counterfeit medicine that could have severe consequences for his or her health.

Hooper was at the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee meeting. Leek reassured him and others that the bill would not put Floridians at risk.

“We have the drug supply chain act that ensures that all the drugs are valid and good,” Lee said.

Republican Rep. Michael Grant from Port Charlotte hopes the idea will help Southwest Florida, too.

“I think it is a weapon we can use to attack high drug prices,” Grant said. ”

Prices that Leek said keep becoming more expensive.

“Drug prices are increasing eight times the inflation rate,” Leek said.

With a vote, the committee gives its stamp of approval as leaders work to get your drug prices lower. From here, the bill will go to the House floor for a vote. The idea still has multiple stops in the senate before a vote there.

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