prescription drug prices

Canadian Drug Importation Money Approved

Mar 9, 2020

Health care budget writers have agreed to spend $10.3 million to help carry out a Canadian drug-importation program, about half of what Gov. Ron DeSantis sought in a proposed budget he unveiled late last year.

The majority of Americans have health insurance that includes coverage for prescription drugs. But unfortunately that doesn't ensure that they can afford the specific drugs their doctors prescribe for them.

In fact, many Americans report that their insurance plans sometimes don't cover a drug they need — and nearly half the people whom this happens to say they simply don't fill the prescription. That's according to a poll released this month on income inequality from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

Practically everyone is frustrated by high prescription drug prices. Voters have made clear they want Congress to do something about them.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that tries to deliver on that. It was a mostly party line vote — all Democrats voted to pass it, along with two Republicans.

Vendors, Critics Show Interest In Canadian Drug Importation Plan

Aug 2, 2019

Florida’s initial effort to gauge interest in the operation of a Canadian drug importation program has drawn more letters of concern from critics than responses from those seeking to participate in the program.

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued a request for information from potential vendors in late May, after state lawmakers approved the drug-importation plan. During a month-long response period, two vendors --- Ernst & Young and Maximus --- responded to the agency’s request.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last week that, if federal authorities give it their go-ahead — still a very big if — would allow his state to import prescription drugs from Canada. That makes Florida the third state to pass such a law, joining Vermont and Colorado. More such legislative attempts are in the works.

When the first HIV drug, AZT, came to market in 1987, it cost $10,000 a year.

That price makes Peter Staley laugh today. "It sounds quaint and cheap now, but $10,000 a year at that time was the highest price ever set for any drug in history," he says.

DAYLINA MILLER / WUSF

A controversial bill (HB 19) that would allow for the importation of pharmaceutical drugs from Canada into Florida now sits on Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk.

META VIERS / Miami Herald

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, on average Americans spend $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, which is more than any other developed country in the world.

Canadian Drug Imports Could Get Go-Ahead

Apr 29, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to allow the state to import prescription drugs from Canada inched closer to passage Friday in the Senate. 

House Approves Canadian Drug Imports

Apr 12, 2019

Drugs from Canada could be imported into Florida if the federal government agrees, under a bill that passed the state House on Thursday. 

DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF

Floridians spend a lot on prescription drugs -- more than $30 billion last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Now at least some Florida lawmakers say they have a way to save consumers money on drugs: get them for less from Canada.

In his first weeks in office, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed the idea of the state importing drugs from Canada. State lawmakers quickly took up the idea. They say that could save Floridians up to 80 percent on what they currently pay for drugs.

Drug Importation Vote Delayed

Apr 5, 2019

A Senate health care panel ran out of time Thursday and was unable to consider a measure aimed at allowing imported prescription drugs from Canada. 

As the heat turns up on drug manufacturers who determine the price of insulin and the health insurers and middlemen who determine what patients pay, one company — Cigna's Express Scripts — announced Wednesday it will take steps by the end of the year to help limit the drug's cost to consumers.

Express Scripts, which manages prescription drug insurance for more than 80 million people, is launching a "patient assurance program" that Steve Miller, Cigna's chief clinical officer, says "caps the copay for a patient at $25 a month for their insulin — no matter what."

Herald Archive

Two of Florida’s leaders have very different ideas about how to make medications more affordable for patients.

Florida Senator Rick Scott introduced the Transparent Drug Pricing Act which would require drug companies to list out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.

Floridians could gain access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries under legislation approved by a state House committee Monday amid concern it could open the door to subpar and even dangerous medications. 

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