Florida spends more on prescription drugs in one year than all of Canada

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(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The state of Florida spends more on prescription drugs in one year than all of Canada does in the same timeframe.

At least that’s what Canada’s acting ambassador to the US argues.

We told you about Governor Ron DeSantis’ idea to import Canadian drugs to Florida earlier this year.

The idea is to save you money on your meds, but our neighbors to the North say, not so fast!

Hope McCrea lives in Port Charlotte. She says, her prescription drugs are about two to three times her monthly income.

McCrea is counting on leaders in Florida to bring those costs down, saying “There’s an answer somewhere, somehow.”

Governor Ron DeSantis’ answer; less expensive, FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada.

DOCUMENT: Florida’s Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Concept Paper

That’s what he announced in February, and leaders in the state Senate are still working to implement the plan.

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew said, “No one should have to choose between their prescription drugs and food.”

She says the program would potentially save more than $150 million every year in Florida, and drugs will meet federal requirements to keep everyone safe.

However, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman told the White House, “Canada’s market for pharmaceuticals is too small to have any real impact on U.S. drug prices.”

And Canada can’t increase it’s drug supply to meet US demand.

We asked Governor DeSantis about this issue during his visit to Southwest Florida.

“I get why they would try to resist that,” he said. “My folks are working to try and get these suppliers.”

Whatever happens, moving forward, McCrea says she’ll be keeping a close eye on her budget, like the thousands of other Floridians working to stay healthy and make ends meet.

A study from September published in the Canadian Health Policy Journal claims that even if only 40 percent of U.S. prescriptions were filled using Canadian sources, the Canadian drug supply would be exhausted in 118 days.

RESOURCE: Prescription assistance options

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