There’s a sea change happening in Florida on the issue of importing prescription drugs from Canada and elsewhere.
Minnesota should take notice.
The Florida Republican Legislature and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis have approved legislation making it legal to important prescription drugs from Canada and other approved countries.
Vermont approved a similar law last year.
The laws are a surprising and welcome turn of events and have the pharmaceutical companies floating the same old strawman safety arguments as they have for decades. But this time, their business is threatened. It’s threatened by good old American capitalism.
They will fight back with a vengeance. Big Pharma has poured billions of dollars into lobbying at the federal level for years. But the tide has turned.
President Donald Trump apparently supports the measure and has authorized the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to approve the plan, according to DeSantis in a report by the Associated Press.
Prescription drug prices have long existed in a monopoly market in the U.S. The Florida legislative analysis showed Floridians paid up to 174 percent more for the same prescription drug compared to other developed countries.
U.S. law drawn up by pharmaceutical companies even prohibits large government entities like Medicare and Medicaid from negotiating prescription drug prices from pharmaceutical companies.
The Florida program is subject to strict regulation to alleviate any safety concerns.
But bringing such competition to the pharmaceutical industry is long overdue. If the federal government won’t act to bring prices down, the states should do so.