Sunday August 9th, 2020 1:17PM

Trump backs Fla. plan to import lower-cost meds from abroad

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move sure to get attention in a 2020 battleground state, President Donald Trump indicated Thursday that his administration may approve a Florida plan to import lower-cost prescription drugs from abroad for use by residents.

It's the latest flashpoint in a confrontation between the Trump administration and the pharmaceutical industry, which for years successfully has fought off importation proposals. Drugs in other economically advanced countries are often much cheaper because governments set prices.

Speaking at a White House event where he pledged to end "surprise medical bills" for patients with health insurance coverage, Trump segued to the subject of prescription drug costs.

"We may allow states to buy drugs in other countries if we can buy them for a lesser price, substantially less price, and that is going to be very unique," he declared. "But we will allow them to go to other countries because the drug companies have treated us very, very unfairly, and the rules and restrictions within our country have been absolutely atrocious."

He added that with "certain permissions" states will be able to import prescription drugs from abroad "if they can buy them for 40%, 50%, 60% less."

Trump's comments were an obvious reference to an importation plan recently passed by the Florida legislature and expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally who made it one of his priorities.

DeSantis told reporters in Florida on Thursday that he had talked with Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar this week about the plan and that the president told Azar, "You work with this governor to get it done."

Florida's program would have to be approved by Azar's department before it could be implemented.

Under the plan, Floridians could eventually gain access to cheaper Canadian prescription drugs. Supporters say imported drugs would have to meet federal Food and Drug Administration standards and that 80 percent of drug ingredients used in the U.S. are foreign-made now.

The bill overcame stiff opposition from major pharmaceutical companies and medical organizations who claimed importing drugs would lead to risks of counterfeit or ineffective substances and would be difficult for the U.S. or Florida to regulate.

Some experts have been skeptical of allowing imports from Canada, partly from concerns about whether Canadian drugmakers have the capacity to supply the much larger U.S. market. But consumer groups have strongly backed the idea, arguing that it will pressure drugmakers to reduce their prices here, where government traditionally has not set such limits.

AARP pushed hard for the Florida plan, saying it's possible to safely import lower-priced, equally effective drugs and it would promote worldwide price competition. CEO Jo Ann Jenkins praised Trump for supporting the Florida legislation, calling it a "sensible drug importation plan to help reduce prescription drug costs."

The drug industry lobby, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said the plan will put Floridians at risk, potentially allowing counterfeit or adulterated medications. "These proposals cannot guarantee that patients wouldn't be put in harm's way nor is there evidence they will save patients money," the group said in a statement.


Anderson reported from Miami.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care, AP Business - Personal Finance
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump backs Fla. plan to import lower-cost meds from abroad
Trump signals support for Fla. Gov. DeSantis' plan to allow importation of lower-cost drugs from abroad
4:33PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Hundreds gather at ceremony to bid farewell to Rosenstein
Hundreds of Justice Department employees have gathered to send off Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
4:31PM ( 9 minutes ago )
APNewsBreak: New Mexico wants lake on Air Force base closed
The New Mexico attorney general's office is demanding the U.S. Air Force close a publicly accessible lake over contamination concerns
4:28PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Sen. Burr takes GOP fire over Trump Jr subpoena
Republicans lashed out at Sen. Richard Burr for his committee's subpoena of President Donald Trump's son, a move that suggests the Russia investigation is not "case closed"
3:43PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Escalation in Trump tariffs looms over US-China trade talks
The United States and China are scheduled to resume talks to try to back off an escalating trade war
3:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump calls on Congress to end 'surprise medical bills'
Trump wants quick action by Congress to end 'surprise medical bills'
3:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Fake German heiress sentenced to 4-12 years behind bars
A judge has sentenced the fake German heiress Anna Sorokin to four to 12 years behind bars for defrauding New York banks and hotels
4:02PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Uber, Lyft driver strike latest move to organize gig workers
A strike by Uber and Lyft drivers in cities across the United States this week caused barely a ripple to passengers looking to catch a ride, highlighting the challenges in launching a labor movement from scratch in such a disparate industry
4:01PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Descendants ensure Chinese rail workers aren't forgotten
More than a century after Chinese workers helped build a portion of the Transcontinental Railroad, their descendants are pushing for more than a token mention in history
3:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
EU 'stands united' behind Cyprus over Turkish drilling bid
The European Union "stands united" behind Cyprus, European Council President Donald Tusk says, after the Mediterranean island nation's president informed EU leaders about Turkey's bid to drill for gas in waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights
1:31PM ( 3 hours ago )
Powell: Policies needed to address slowdown in income growth
Fed Chairman Powell says policies needed to address slowdown in income growth and upward mobility
1:22PM ( 3 hours ago )
US sanctions to hit Iran's metals industry, a major employer
New US sanctions are targeting Iran's vital metals industry, a major employer in the country's troubled economy
12:55PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: Trump proposes end to 'surprise medical bills'
President Donald Trump is ratcheting up pressure on the pharmaceutical industry to lower prices and announcing a new effort to end "surprise medical bills" for patients with health insurance
12:59PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says time to end 'surprise medical bills'
President Donald Trump says it's time to end 'surprise medical bills,' which can leave insured patients facing sticker shock from charges submitted by doctors outside their insurers' networks
12:43PM ( 3 hours ago )
Sticker shock: Trump taking aim at 'surprise medical bills'
Trump wants to limit 'surprise medical bills,' the unexpected charges faced by insured patients when a member of a health care team that treated them is an out-of-network provider
12:12PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Budget office: $177B in added costs from Trump drug plan
Budget office: Trump administration plan to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries will cost taxpayers another $177 billion over 10 years
7:49PM ( 6 days ago )
Budget office: Caveats to government-run health system
Congressional budget experts say moving to a government-run health care system like "Medicare for All" could be complicated and potentially disruptive for Americans
7:06PM ( 1 week ago )
Arizona licenses center where incapacitated woman was raped
A Phoenix long-term care facility where an incapacitated woman was raped and later gave birth has received an Arizona license to operate
3:51PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Health Care
US long-term mortgage rates decline; 30-year average 4.10%
US long-term mortgage rates decline; 30-year average down to 4.10%
12:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
What market tumble? Workers up 401(k) savings to record
Last year's scary tumble for the stock market wasn't enough to scare workers off of saving for retirement
12:44AM ( 15 hours ago )
New York Senate OKs giving US House Trump state tax return
New York's Senate has approved legislation that would allow congressional investigators to get access to President Donald Trump's state tax returns, giving Democrats a potential end-run around the administration's refusal to disclose his federal returns
6:59PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Personal Finance
Hundreds gather at ceremony to bid farewell to Rosenstein
Hundreds of Justice Department employees have gathered to send off Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
4:31PM ( 9 minutes ago )
APNewsBreak: New Mexico wants lake on Air Force base closed
The New Mexico attorney general's office is demanding the U.S. Air Force close a publicly accessible lake over contamination concerns
4:28PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Juul's 'switch' campaign for smokers draws new scrutiny
E-cigarette giant Juul is pushing into television with a multimillion-dollar campaign touting its vaping device as an alternative for middle-age smokers
4:24PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Judge: Trial of white officer in chokehold death can proceed
A New York City judge is allowing a police disciplinary case proceed against the white officer accused in the 2014 chokehold death of an unarmed black man
4:23PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Storms damage Arkansas apartments, leave damage in South
Storms that ripped the roof off apartments in Arkansas are causing flooding and toppling trees in the Deep South
4:13PM ( 26 minutes ago )